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The Third Lynx by Timothy Zahn
Review by Harriet Klausner
Tor Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765317322
Date: 30 October 2007 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

In the distant future the Twelve Civilizations, of which Earth and her colonies are one, are connected by the quadrail, a transportation system that allows people to get to their destination fast. The Spiders run it and since they are pacifists they don't allow weapons to be transported which means the galaxy is at peace. It is a false peace because unknown to the Twelve Civilizations, the Modhri wants to conquer them by stealth.

From official release/information:

Book Description: Night Train to Rigel. But the Modhri, an ancient telepathically linked intelligence, has walkers, unwilling hosts that can be anywhere, anything…and anyone. And Compton is the only man who knows how to fight them, as they wage a secret war against the galactic civilizations linked by the Quadrail, the only means of intra-galactic transit.

Accompanied by Bayta, a woman with strange ties to the robot-like Spiders who run the Quadrail, and dogged by special agent Morse who suspects him of murder, Compton races the Modhri from station to station to acquire a set of valuable sculptures from a long-dead civilization. What the Modhri wants with them is anybody's guess, but if Compton can't outwit it, the whole galaxy will find out the hard way.

(Source: Tor)

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