What really happened to the crew of Apollo 18 in the Mare Crisium, the Sea of Crises? The last of America’s manned lunar missions, it was conducted in eerie silence following the inexplicable loss of all communication with the astronauts during their first moonwalk, just after Commander Bob Cartwright’s enigmatic statement, “That shouldn't be here.”
And it ended in tragedy when the heat shield on the command capsule failed during re-entry, leaving three dead astronauts inside burned beyond recognition.
Thirty-six years later, Cartwright’s sons make a shocking discovery: The capsule that came down in the Pacific Ocean with three charred remains was not their father’s capsule. And the body they buried all those years before was not their father.
What they've uncovered puts the three brothers on the run, chased by a ruthless group who will stop at nothing to preserve the secret behind the fate of the Apollo 18 astronauts. The brothers will need to set aside past differences and pool their talents if they are to stay alive and unravel the mystery behind what really happened in the Sea of Crises.
I first heard about this book when I got an email from the author himself, Marty Steere. I was so ecstatic to be sought out by an author and requested to read and review his book. As this was my first author request, I took my time to read, re-read and re-re-read the book until I practically knew the plot line by heart. Conspiracy theories have always intrigued me, even the really crazy ones, and this one got me hook, line and sinker.
The story starts with Nate Cartwright, eldest son of Bob Cartwright (fallen astronaut of the Apollo 18 mission). Nate gets a call from his little brother Peter to pick him up from the airport. Peter is a paranoid reporter (rightly so), who calls his big brother for help. He thinks he's being watched and followed and he is right. Peter tells Nate his discoveries about the Apollo 18 mission that took their father and the lives of two other astronauts. After an shocking and horrendous warning from a group called the Organization, Nate and Peter search for their other brother Matt (who has his own mysterious background). The brothers set off in search for more answers and this sets off a chain of events that lead to shoot outs, fast car chases, and an even more shocking discovery.
About halfway through the book, when the brothers, plus the family of the other two astronauts, finally have enough pieces of the puzzle, there's a good chunk that tells the real story of what happened during the Apollo 18 mission. I found this portion of the book very fascinating! Marty Steere did a very good job slipping in the past in between the present. The characters were fully developed with their own complex backgrounds. The storytelling is amazing! I felt like I was there with the characters; experiencing the rush of adrenaline as bullets whizzed by and shifting the car into gear to outrun the Organization's cronies. I liked that pace of the story and the sudden turn of events that kept my interest throughout the book. I especially like the "subtle" hints of romantic possibility between Nate and Maggie, Major Dayton's daughter. The last third of the book was, in my opinion, the best cat and mouse game between the head of the Organization and a group of people who want to know the truth.
I give this book (drum roll).......