My first thought on reading this book is that it isn't the stuff of the Pohl's past (such as the Heechee novels). However, it's entertaining science fiction about mankind's early days in the intergalactic neighbourhood. Mankind has joined the local alien races on a neutral planet where the various races sort out there problems rather than carry out the wars of years gone by.
Into this highly political world steps a burned-out coder and his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Without any inkling as to the ramifications, our man accepts a political posting, of sorts, by running for - and becoming - the mayor of the human's small settlement.
Along the way, the new mayor makes horrendous errors, jeopardising the human's relationship with one species, and losing face with the rest. He starts to suspect that some of the other humans are up to something. He begins to poke around, and everything goes to hell.
Not the deepest of sci-fi reads, but a great choice for a vacation.