Odd Girl Out (Quadrail 03) by Timothy Zahn

By Timothy Zahn

During this noir mystery set on the interstellar Quadrail, former govt agent Frank Compton cannot seize a holiday. After a profitable undertaking opposed to the Modhri, the coral polyp-based staff brain that's trying to take over the galaxy, Frank arrives at his big apple apartment. A younger lady is anticipating him, pointing a gun at his face.  She tells him that somebody on New Tigris is keeping her ten-year-old sister. Compton takes her gun and orders her out, basically to be rousted up and doing and accused of her brutal murder.  After Frank's best friend Bruce McMicking posts his bail, Frank travels to New Tigris along with his assistant, Bayta, and locates the sister, who's a part of a key resistance team that's combating the Modhri during the galaxy. Compton needs to get the lady to a hidden shelter planet through the Quadrail to make sure the ongoing efforts of the resistance. yet can he do it sooner than the Modhri will get to her first?  Compelling characters, hard-boiled sleuthing, and continuous motion make this a difficult SF mystery that might seize the reader and never allow move till the final web page.

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Sample text

Along with their probable cash donations, I spotted the logos of at least five major corporations on various buildings along the way. Small operations, undoubtedly, at this point. Nevertheless, it was a vote of confidence in the colony's future, and a nice psychological boost besides. The locals had done their part, too. There were all sorts of businesses nestled in among the houses, from bakeries and neighborhood grocery stores to the more homespun sorts of places like leather-workers and pottery makers.

Unfortunately, others just gave up. " "That group propping up the front of the bar," I said, nodding toward a tavern a couple of doors past the four teens where a half-dozen men were idling around the doorway. " Bayta countered. "I'm serious," I said. "Note the age range. Everywhere else it's been teens or middleaged or whatever. Very age-segregated. " Bayta digested that for a couple more steps. " "I have no idea," I said. "But it makes me curious enough to want to check it out. " She sighed.

A muscle twitched in Karim's cheek. " he asked, lowering his voice. " Sometimes, I thought I might just as well wear a leather jacket with my name emblazoned across the back in metal studs. "Whichever," I told him. Glancing casually around, Karim stepped though the line of teens and walked up to me. "Prove it," he challenged, gazing unblinkingly into my face. For a long moment, I gazed back at him, searching for any trace of the Modhri behind his eyes. But if there was a polyp colony in there, he was being very quiet.

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