This is the fourth in the Starship series. It follows Mutiny and Pirate (both of which seem to have escaped my tagging of my book reviews) and Mercenary. The characters and situation would probably be a little hard to pick up without reading from the beginning.
As the saga of Captain Cole continues, Resnick continues to examine the problems of the decent individual people working for an out of control government. It's more unreal than more seriously military space opera, as Resnick relatively casually offs huge numbers of people, but the real story happens with just a few people ducking and weaving through unintended consequences, trying to figure out what's right, and finding the determination to do it. This is a little more compelling than the earlier books, but also a little more troubling with the large number of deaths that are just background description for the main story. 8 out of 10.
**** PLOT HIGHLIGHTS -- SPOILERS ****
Very briefly here. Cole's mercenary operations out of Singapore are growing a little stagnant, so things have to get shaken up. A big cheese called the Octopus shows up, but he and Cole fail to deal and he leaves, with a suggestion that if they meet again it will be with hostility. Then Cole's fleet does a random good deed, saving a guy from the Navy. Forrice needs to get laid, and none of the Molarian whores on Singapore are in season, so he goes off somewhere else and gets caught, tortured, and executed by the Navy, on broadcast video. The Octopus shows up with the news that the guy they saved is his son, so he's throwing his ships in with Cole. Cole goes out and whacks the Navy ship that killed Forrice. He's wiped them out to a man, but an ambulance sneaks up from the planet, rescues one person, and leaves the system. Cole won't kill an ambulance, so they get away, and with that the Navy has word. They respond by blowing up the planet, killing millions. Cole declares war on the Navy, vowing to drive them out of the Inner Frontier. The Navy finally notices the pinprick losses and brings together a fleet to take out Singapore. Singapore wins, at the cost of dozens of their ships for every one of the Navy's. In the wreckage of the Navy flagship, Cole finds one kid who won't surrender. Seeing himself in that kid, he lets him go, and declares that he's no longer fighting the Navy; he's going after the Republic itself. They're going to attack Deluros VIII.