Book Review of Chris Hadfield’s: The Apollo Murders
By Dan Watt
The Apollo Murders is fiction, sort of. As with writer’s such as Tom Clancy (Red October), Clive Cussler (numerous books with his recurring hero Dirk Pitt) and other writers of non-fiction and fiction, Hadfield’s new book is full of real information.
As the crew of the Apollo 18 are preparing to visit the moon during the Cold War era, an additional task is added onto their already complex mission. In order to complete their new task the crew must be ready within a given time. Then a terrible accident occurs that creates even more stress.
Hadfield, a Canadian was a fighter pilot in the United States before becoming an astronaut. He also trained in Russia where he went into space with cosmonauts. So he has real insight into how both space programs work. He also has an interesting perspective on both countries politics during the late 1960s and early 1970s when Nixon was president and Brezhnev was First Secretary.
Many of the characters in his book are real people. Those he created are likely based on people he has known or a conglomeration of their characteristics. Each character has their own nuances that make them feel real. Whether the characters are American or Russian we get their personal view of why they behave the way the do. Who’s right or wrong, good or bad is a matter of perspective.
This is a great read for anyone who likes the turns and twists of a murder mystery while learning about the life of an astronaut and how space ships worked in the Cold War Era.
There are leaps of faith in places but that’s what we expect in fiction. Most of us want to be engrossed in the story while learning interesting facts. Hadfield has successfully filled both needs.