Death Count by L.A. Graf
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Tensions arise between the Orions and the Andorians after the disappearance of the renowned Andorian scientist Muav Haslev. It's believed he has secretly been working for the Orions and both parties seem very eager to get him back and maybe the technology he has been working on.
The Enterprise is docked at Sigma One space station and also hosting some Starfleet auditors who are making a nuisance of themselves, unfortunately they are kept on board when the Enterprise is assigned the mission to patrol the border after the USS Kongo suffered crippling damage and huge loss of life. On the mission the Enterprise has to contend with failing systems, alerts, sabotage, red tape from the auditors and pursuing Orion ships who believe whatever they are looking for passed through Sigma One and onto the Enterprise.
Death Count was a solid Star Trek adventure, the auditors were a nice touch especially given the political interference would normally come from an ambassador. I also really liked Chekov and his insecurities and emotional reaction to the loss of a friend on the Kongo, their relationship having been explored in an earlier TOS novel "The Kobayashi Maru". There was some nice twists and turns, combat and the secondary characters got plenty to so which is always welcome. Overall a fun and quick read of an all too typical mission for the Enterprise.
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