Missing Man

Overview

A veteran astronaut is dead, killed in a crash during a routine training flight. The NASA rookie who survives the disaster finds himself at the center of suspicion. To clear his name, he must risk his career—and his life—in a dangerous confrontation with powerful forces determined to keep the truth from getting out.
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Overview

A veteran astronaut is dead, killed in a crash during a routine training flight. The NASA rookie who survives the disaster finds himself at the center of suspicion. To clear his name, he must risk his career—and his life—in a dangerous confrontation with powerful forces determined to keep the truth from getting out.
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Editorial Reviews

NASA Watch
At last, a realistic whodunit in space! From a technical standpoint, the author clearly knows the systems, the hardware, the acronyms, and how NASA's team actually uses them. He also protrays NASA internal and external politics dead on...[Missing Man shows] the NASA world as it really is: an agency of motivated and highly talented people beset with the pressure of being perfect day in and day out—and what they might do if something went very, very wrong.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As this exciting action thriller begins, Astronaut candidate Mark Koskinen manages to survive when a training aircraft crashes, killing chief NASA astronaut Joseph Buerhle, under what seem to Mark suspicious circumstances. Trying to complete his requirements as an astronaut-in-training while quietly investigating Buerhle's death, Mark becomes linked with the dead man's lover, astronaut Kelly Gessner, veteran of several shuttle missions. The plot gains momentum as Mark and Kelly set out on board the shuttle to capture a rogue astronaut. NASA is rarely used as background for thrillers; here the detailed description of training, equipment and maneuvers, plus the invocation of the ecstasy of sailing far above planet Earth, gives an invigorating twist to the suspenseful plot. Most impressive, however, is the poignant description of life as a second-generation hero. The original astronauts are old or dead, and the rest of the country is back to business as usual--only the few dedicated space-hunters like Mark can tolerate the politics and pain that must be endured in order to gain the opportunity to fly weightlessly in space. TV writer Cassutt (who coauthored Deke!, the memoir of astronaut Deke Slayton) delivers a winner for lovers of aerospace, action or suspense fiction. Editor, Beth Meacham; agent, Richard Curtis. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
Absorbing, rather bitter debut thriller about NASA and a team of US astronauts going up in 1999 to join Russia's Mir space station team. The missing man of the title is Chief Astronaut Joe Buerhle, whoþs killed before the mission begins. Accompanying Buerhle in the T-38 trainer plane that he was flying when he died was astronaut Mark Koskinen, who was ejected when the usually calm Buerhle started hot-dogging over the ocean, lost an engine, was blinded by clouds, and came outþperhaps stupidly?þtrying to save the plane before it splashed down and sank. Unanswered questions about the crash haunt Mark and spread gradually to his fellow astronauts and the top staff at Houston. Meanwhile, Buerhle's ex-girlfriend, astronaut Kelly Gessner, discovers Joe's notes on his computerþnotes that point up either his paranoia or the fact that someone is trying to kill him. Then Mark's old girlfriend, Allyson, shows up to encourage and cook for him during his recovery from the crash, although he is still on schedule for the Mir mission. Later, Allyson is killed in a highway accident. The coronersþ reports on both her and Buerhle show cocaine in their blood, and the evidence slowly accumulates to suggest that both of these people were murdered when coke was injected into their food. As time passes, Mark and Kelly gather what further evidence they can, while their chief on the mission plays down their fears. Eventually, both realize that nothing they find will matter to NASA, which wonþt let anything interfere with the space docking and experiments on its own agenda. The climax is a one-gun shoot-'em-up in outer space, completely unlike anything you might expect.Cassutt's poker-faced plain style never busts the language envelope, but if it works for Tom Clancy, why not punch it out? Even so, it's not what we might hope for from a writer for TV's The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone revival, and the brainspinningly experimental Max Headroom.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312866204
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 347
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.66 (h) x 1.18 (d)

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