Plot taken from the book jacket
Long before Captain Jean-Luc Picard took command of the legendary Starship Enterprise, he fell deeply and hopelessly in love with Doctor Beverly Crusher. Though, for one reason or another, Picard never acted on his feelings, he found a measure of contentment as Beverly's close friend, colleague, and daily breakfast partner.
But when Doctor Crusher leaves her position on the Enterprise to become the chief medical officer of Starfleet, the brightest light in Picard's life is taken from him. And he has hardly resigned himself to his loss when he learns that Beverly has been declared missing in action on a distant planet - and presumed dead.
Kevratas is a bleak, frozen world on the far side of the Romulan Neutral Zone where the Federation has become the plague-ravaged natives' only real hope of survival and freedom. Starfleet has no recourse but to send in another team to try to save the Kevrata - and Picard is the natural choice.
An Excellent Novel
This is just another excellent novel from one of the gods of the Trek novels, Michael Jan Friedman. While he's not really my favorite Trek author (my favorite is held by Peter David, author of Imzadi, Triangle: Imzadi II, Imzadi Forever, The New Frontier series, numerous DC comic titles), he has a talent to bring about the best in his characters, with a deep and detailed storyline.
This novel final puts to rest the questions about Picard and Crusher's relationship, and Friedman answered these very well, while at the same time adding to the already detailed back story of Dr. Crusher (her first kiss, the reason she became a doctor, her wedding ect).
While some of the plot can be a bit far fetched, the book is actually a decent read (I finished it in about 2 days, but when I read, I read for hours at a time). For example: In the book, Crusher and Picard go on an undercover operation, this is a bit far fetched because both are pretty old (Crusher is in her mid fifties, and Picard in his mid seventies), but this is explained away by the rejuvenating effects they received while on the Baku planet (Star Trek Insurrection). Another example is taking a mentally unstable convicted attempted murderer on an undercover op.
Even if you don't like Friedman's books, I'd still recommend this book if only for the fact that it takes care of the questions about Picard and Crusher's relationship.
An easy 8 out of 10.