The Apollo Murders

A Novel

  • Language:
  • English (United States)
    Mulholland Books (Little, Brown/Hachette)
  • English (United Kingdom/Australia)
    Quercus (Hachette)
  • English (Canada)
    Random House
  • Czech
  • French (Canada)
  • German
  • Dutch
    The House of Books
  • Greek
  • Finnish
  • Hungarian
    Gabo Kiadó
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Russian
About The Apollo Murders:

New York Times bestselling astronaut Chris Hadfield is back with an exceptional Cold War thriller from the dark heart of the Space Race.

1973: a final, top-secret mission to the Moon. Three astronauts in a tiny module, a quarter million miles from home. A quarter million miles from help.

As Russian and American crews sprint for a secret bounty hidden away on the lunar surface, old rivalries blossom and the political stakes are stretched to breaking point back on Earth. Houston flight controller Kazimieras ‘Kaz’ Zemeckis must do all he can to keep the NASA crew together, while staying one step ahead of his Soviet rivals. But not everyone on board Apollo 18 is quite who they appear to be.

Full of the fascinating technical detail that fans of The Martian loved, and reminiscent of the thrilling claustrophobia, twists and tension of The Hunt for Red OctoberThe Apollo Murders puts you right there in the moment. Experience the fierce G-forces of launch, the frozen loneliness of Space and the fear of holding on to the outside of a spacecraft orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour, as told by a former Commander of the International Space Station who has done all of those things in real life.

Strap in and count down for the ride of a lifetime.

Awards, Nominations, and Distinctions:

Starred ReviewPublishers Weekly

Starred ReviewLibrary Journal

Best Books of the Month – Apple Books

Critical Praise:

"A nail-biting Cold War thriller set against a desperate Apollo mission that never really happened...or did it? It’s a very rare book that combines so many things I love, from taut suspense and highly realistic action, to the golden age of space exploration. I couldn't put it down."

James Cameron, writer and director of Avatar and Titanic

"There’s maybe one person on Earth with the writing chops and the expertise to write a to-the-Moon thriller this exciting, this authentic. Chris Hadfield is that guy."

Linwood Barclay, New York Times bestselling author of Find You First

"Not to be missed. Even in fiction there is authenticity. It is either there... or it is not. With Chris Hadfield it is, because everything he describes he has really seen."

Frederick Forsyth, New York Times bestselling author of The Day of the Jackal and The Fox

"An explosive thriller from a writer who has actually been to Space and back...Strap in for the ride."

Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times bestselling author of the Orphan X novels

"Former astronaut Chris Hadfield gives us a relentlessly exciting, deeply intriguing insider’s look at the prime years of the Apollo space program, ingeniously weaving together three of the coldest, darkest things in existence—Cold War politics, space, and murder. Hadfield also gives us a hero in former test pilot Kaz who is willing to risk both career and life to stop a trail of blood extending from the earth to the moon. Nothing short of brilliant!"

Stephen Mack Jones, author of the August Snow thriller series

"Chris Hadfield has deftly combined fact and fiction in a gripping tale of high-stakes treachery. Told against the background of the amazing Apollo space program — this story of Cold War tensions, dark secrets, and an ego gone over the edge builds to an explosive and satisfying finale."

John Verdon, internationally bestselling author of the Dave Gurney series

"Col. Hadfield’s bona fides are unimpeachable—but it’s his inventive action sequences and keen eye for illuminating details that propel THE APOLLO MURDERS ever skyward. Strap in and brace yourself, because with Hadfield at the stick, you’re in for a stellar thrill ride that’ll leave you breathless."

Chris Holm, author of The Killing Kind

"Chris Hadfield's twisty thriller blasts off and turns the cold war hot, as superpower conflict erupts in the cramped confines of the Apollo module. America's final moon mission confronts even greater challenges: an armed Soviet orbiter, an aggressive moon rover, and a cosmonaut determined to draw a line in the regolith. Old-school tech is the background for machine guns in space and knife fights on the moon -- and it's all entirely plausible, written by someone who could have been there."

Mike Cooper, author of The Downside

This thriller set in the world of space aeronautics feels chillingly real. No surprise—it was penned by an actual former astronaut....We were glued to shuttle-era astronaut Chris Hadfield’s suspenseful story. The Apollo Murders has all the political backstabbing and cloak-and-dagger intrigue you’d want from a Cold War thriller, mixed with a good, old-fashioned “...IN SPAAAACE!” adventure story. And these two elements go together brilliantly."

Apple Books

"Hadfield draws on his expertise as an astronaut to add authenticity and realism to his debut thriller. Fans of Clive Cussler and Andy Weir will enjoy this genre-bender combining military fiction, the detective novel, and techno-thriller."

Library Journal

Bestseller Hadfield (An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth) makes his fiction debut with a spectacular alternate history thriller...His mastery of the details enables him to generate high levels of tension from just a description of a welding error, which cascades into something significant. This is an intelligent and surprising nail-biter that Tom Clancy fans will relish."

Publishers Weekly

"Real-life astronaut Hadfield’s first novel is surprisingly ambitious. We might have expected him to draw on his expertise to tell a story involving astronauts and space travel, but to set the story during the Cold War (1973, to be precise)? Interesting. To use Apollo 18, one of several canceled NASA missions to the moon, as its backdrop? Intriguing. To incorporate real people (flight director Gene Kranz, CIA director James Schlesinger) into the story? Clever. To incorporate a murder mystery and a race between nations to find a rare treasure on the moon? Gutsy. Rich in the kind of scientific and technical details that made Andy Weir’s The Martian (2014) and Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora (2015) such treats, the book also features very well-drawn characters, natural-sounding dialogue, and a story that leads the reader to expect a spectacular conclusion (and delivers it). Perfect for fans of sf/mystery combos."


"One of the most accomplished astronauts in the world, Chris Hadfield has drawn on his wealth of experience to produce a cold-war thriller riven with detail and authenticity."

Living magazine

About the Author(s):

CHRIS HADFIELD is one of the most seasoned and accomplished astronauts in the world. The top graduate of the U.S. Air Force test pilot school in 1988 and U.S. Navy test pilot of the year in 1991, Colonel Hadfield was CAPCOM for twenty-five Shuttle missions and NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia. Hadfield served as Commander of the International Space Station where, while conducting a record-setting number of scientific experiments and overseeing an emergency spacewalk, he gained worldwide acclaim for his breathtaking photographs and educational videos about life in space. His music video, a zero-gravity version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” has nearly 50 million views, and his TED talk on fear has been viewed over 10 million times. He helped create and host the National Geographic miniseries One Strange Rock, with Will Smith, and has a MasterClass on exploration. Chris Hadfield’s books An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on EarthYou Are Here and The Darkest Dark have been bestsellers all around the world, topping the charts for months in his Canadian homeland.

Other Editions:
  • English (Canada)

  • English (UK/ANZ)

Other Books by Chris Hadfield:
  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

  • The Darkest Dark

  • You Are Here