Blaze of Glory opens as Starbase 37 is overwhelmed by pirating in the K'Tralli system and they turn to Starfleet for help. Starfleet dispatched the Enterprise because of the delicate situation in the system. On the outermost ridges of Federation space, a small distance from the Romulan space, the K'Tralli have joined the Federation only a few years prior. Though their regime was Monarchy, they agreed to switch to Democracy and win the Federation's aid in saving their economy. The Federation was allowed to colonize the local planet Artemis VI, and was encouraged to establish a Diplomatic Starbase in its orbit to protect Federation interests in the sector. Commanding the starbase is Jean Luc's old academy friend, Captain Ivan Valentinovitch Gruzinow.
The K'Tralli system comprised of two K'Tralli inhabited planets and one Federation planet was also a commerce port, used by those trying to leave Federation space and those trying to smuggle commodities in. Far from any military outpost, pirating was bound to develop. However, there was one ship and one captain that stood apart from the other freebooters, Captain Blaze and his ship the 'Glory'. Latest reports suggested that the Glory may be equipped with a cloaking device. As it was an old Constitution Class that was sold as surplus, the possibility was low, but it was crucial to verify. Installing a Romulan cloaking device onto a Federation starship was a project for an exceptional engineering team, not a local pirate. And if a local pirate was being aided by the Romulans that could be considered a violation of the treaty between the Federation and the Romulans. Another fact to keep in mind is that while a Constitution Class starship is no match for a Galaxy Class, a Constitution Class with a cloaking device may be.
Picard will have to face the excruciating phases of diplomacy with the local rulers, while Riker will lead an away mission to asses the Glory, from within.
The developments with Riker's away team to pose as a lost Merchant Fleet crew and then try to get a position on the Glory are interesting, and the author's detail of its inner workings, mechanically and otherwise, provide an interesting insight.
Being the 34th book in the TNG book series, it's a good read though not amazing.
Title: Blaze of Glory