Sea of Crises

Fiction - Thriller - General
314 Pages
Reviewed on 05/17/2012
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Author Biography

The son of a career air force officer, Marty Steere grew up on or near military installations across the country and overseas before settling in Southern California, where, when he’s not writing, he practices law. Sea of Crises is his first novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Our story begins with action and suspense. Nate Cartwright receives a mysterious phone call from Peter, his brother. Peter thought he was being followed and that it had something to do with his project. The project was connected to Apollo 18 whose commander was their father, Bob Cartwright. It was obvious someone did not want anyone to dig deeper into the Apollo disaster. What did all of this have to do with the subcommittee on strategic forces? What really happened to the Apollo 18 crew? Why did Commander Bob Cartwright utter the words “That shouldn’t be there?” How can a person not get caught up in this book? I have always been fascinated with the space program. In reality Mission Apollo 18 was canceled but what if it really did take place? What if the mission landed on the moon but the crew was never heard from again? What if there was a cover up?

Author Marty Steere is brilliant! His plot is plausible, the characters are realistic, and the writing is superb. My intention is not to give away too much of the plot in my summary. I want the readers to pick up their own copy of this book. Once they begin reading, like me, they will not want to put this book down. I was not familiar with Marty Steere and had no idea what to expect from his book. He impressed me. Steere manages to keep the characters fresh and the suspense building, leading to a crescendo ending.

Alice D.

On September 28, 1976, astronaut Bob Cartwright, as the commander of the Apollo 18 lunar spacecraft, was walking on the moon's surface with fellow astronaut Mason Gale when he suddenly said, "That shouldn't be here". Immediately the transmissions from space stopped and sometime later, the spacecraft returned with all three astronauts inside burned to a crisp. At that terrible moment in time, Bob Cartwright's son Ned was almost twelve years old and his twins, Peter and Matthew were celebrating their tenth birthdays. Now Peter is investigating what really happened back then and he is in danger. He is being followed home from Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Mason Gale's sister and mother still live. Nate and Peter's brother Matthew was supposedly killed in an air crash years before, but they find him alive, living covertly in Idaho after resigning from the secret government group called The Organization. Peter, Nate, Nate's dog Buster, and Matthew travel to Maine to meet with third Apollo astronaut Stephen Dayton's daughter Margaret who was only a baby when her father was killed. But who is following the Cartwright brothers and why?

"Sea of Crises" or Mare Crisium is the name of the moon's area where Astronaut Bob Cartwright sees something that did not belong there. It is also the name of this thriller of a book that has bad guys and good guys aplenty and a few storyline surprises as well. The book is well-formatted and well-written, the characters are totally believable but not always likeable, and the plot proceeds with surprising twists and turns to the story's last pages. Readers will truly enjoy this first-rate read that covers past and present and merges them well together. "Sea of Crises" is a read that is not to be missed!

Stephanie D.

"Sea of Crises" by Marty Steere is a nailbiting story! In reality, Apollo 18 never took place. It was one of the scheduled moon trips that NASA cancelled. But in this book it happens and the three astronauts, Cartwright, Gale and Dayton, are found incinerated in the landing capsule that comes back to earth. What exactly went wrong? Certain events embark Cartwright’s son Nate, and his twin brothers Peter and the estranged and elusive Matt, on a quest to find out what really happened to their father. This sets them on a path they could never have imagined having to take. There is intrigue, deception and murder on the way, but also closeness, friendship and relationship building. The brothers are up against fear, suspicion and The Organization.

The interaction between the three brothers is almost as fascinating as the main line of events. Nate is a 40-something workaholic with only Buster the dog as company since he never makes the time for a private life. Peter has had battles of his own as a homosexual and Matt disappeared without saying goodbye to deal with his own demons. The Cartwrights have a lot of work to do to rebuild their family but finally they succeed in a way they could never have thought possible and achieve happiness. The characterization of the novel is excellent. The people we meet are rounded and plausible. The action sweeps us along and this is the sort of book it is hard to put down.

Laura Carter

In 1976 the last of NASA’s manned lunar missions, Apollo 18, was unsuccessful in its return to earth and all three astronauts were killed during the attempt. This tragedy meant that no one ever found out what commander Bob Cartwright meant when he said “that shouldn’t be here” shortly before communications were lost. 36 years later, Bob Cartwright’s sons uncover a shocking secret - the capsule that was found and contained what was believed to be the remains of the Apollo 18 astronauts was not actually the capsule for the Apollo 18. As the brothers investigate the truth of the past events, they find themselves up against a secret government agency that will go to any lengths to keep the truth covered.

"Sea of Crises" is an engaging, intriguing mystery that will leave you hanging on the writer's every word, as you follow the characters on their mission to uncover the truth. The action is non-stop and fast-paced and is mixed with just the right amount of mystery to make a perfect thriller. Marty Steere has written a book that will leave readers desperate for more of his brilliant writing style. The characters are well-conceived and developed and complement each other perfectly. From investigative journalist Peter to smart workaholic Nate and finally Matt, an ex-member of the very organization that is hunting them down, each character brings their own edge to the book. "Sea of Crises" is so stunning a read that you will be unable to stop reading until the very end.

Terri Tumlin

Nate Cartwright worked too hard. He always had. As first a lawyer and then as a private consultant, he was successful but at the cost of a personal life. That was the most serious problem with his existence until the night Peter called from the airport. Peter, a writer and one of his twin younger brothers, had begun a project looking into the story of the ill-fated flight of Apollo 18 on which their father died. Now he was being followed by persons unknown and knew he was in trouble. After the two brothers receive a terrifying bloody warning, they are forced onto a cross-country odyssey, collecting other relatives of the Apollo 18 crew and trying to stay alive long enough to unravel the mystery. Among those they collect is Peter’s estranged twin brother who may have insights into what is really going on.

Marty Steere has written a page turner of a story combining elements of a classic thriller with a well-researched techno novel. His knowledge of the technology and the world of lunar expeditions is accurate. His human conflicts among the protagonist and his fleeing band are believable and riveting. And, true to the best of thrillers, the bad guys are powerful and seemingly unstoppable. The central section of the novel, which takes place back in the time of the Apollo project, blends well with the material relating to the current day. Throughout, the writing is strong and very readable. This is a very enjoyable book and I highly recommend it.