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Chris Hadfield to Publish a Sequel to His Blockbuster Debut, “The Apollo Murders,” on Oct. 10
"The Defector” brings the Cold War intrigue from space to Earth as the Soviets and Americans race to develop fighter jets / BY Kim Honey / February 8th, 2023
Take Top Gun, fuel it with Cold War intrigue and buckle up for a wild ride as Chris Hadfield launches the sequel to his blockbuster debut thriller, The Apollo Murders.
Kaz Zemeckis, the former American test pilot who supervised a disastrous NASA mission to the moon in the first book, is back in The Defector, and Hadfield drops him into the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The story concerns a Soviet MiG fighter that disappears as it is streaking over the Israeli, touching off a tale of international intrigue involving spies, Soviet defectors and the fabled Foxbat MiG-25. Allegedly the fastest fighter jet in the world, it caused a huge amount of American paranoia in the 70s, until a real Soviet defector revealed it was a hulking piece of obsolete junk.
“Writing The Defector was a joy, drawing on my own combat fighter/test pilot experiences, while interweaving the plot and characters with the real-world geopolitics and the secret rocket engine development of the early 1970s,” Hadfield says in a release announcing the book’s publication date on Oct. 10. “That decade was such a similar time to now – political turmoil, armed conflict, Cold War tensions, social unrest – I hope it makes the high-tension thrills of The Defector feel even more real.”
Before Hadfield was an author and an astronaut and a musician, he was an ace test pilot for both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. The novel, says Random House Canada executive editor Anne Collins, “is like Top Gun written by a real top gun.”
On his website, Hadfield reveals that Kaz is accompanied on his quest to find the defector by Svetlana, and their mission takes them from Israel to secret test sites in the Nevada desert. It’s “an action-packed real-world twist of what happened next, after The Apollo Murders,” Hadfield notes. “Just writing the aerial combat scenes got my heart pounding.”