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Kriglem by Bob Mann
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The War ended twenty years ago, and the time since has been one of reconciliation and reconstruction. And expansion: humanity is pushing into Space again. The sparsely settled Frontier, and beyond it, the lawless Out, are growing in volume, wealth and stellar systems. The dream of universal peace seems to have arrived at last: though criminals and pirates still gnaw at civilization's edges as they always have and always will, vast armies no longer mobilize to do battle in planet-crushing conflagrations.

But there are dangers in Space, and strange things happening at Land Ho colony.

A pair of tramp miners bring in a body, killed by an agent that left only a nosebleed and a face frozen in agony as evidence of its passing. A deranged pilot fires nuclear-tipped missiles at colony defenses, then dies through suicide-by-cop. An innocent miner/engineer becomes a target for murder.

As Detective Vasily Laranov investigates, he uncovers a labyrinthine web of clandestine and criminal enterprises that stretch deep into the Frontier--and beyond.

Humanity is indeed pushing into Space. And something is pushing back.

Hard Shell Word Factory; June 2004
354 pages; ISBN 9781582005621
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Title: Kriglem
Author: Bob Mann