Mask Market by Andrew H. Vachss
They meet in a no–name diner. A shadowy man hands Burke a CD dossier of someone he wants found. Minutes later, as Burke watches from an alley, his client is gunned down by a professional hunter–killer team. Burke slips away, unsure if he’s been spotted. Later, when he examines the dossier, he discovers that the missing woman is Beryl Preston, a girl he’d rescued from a brutal pimp twenty years earlier—when she was only thirteen—and returned to her father. Now he has to find her again—not only because she might be in danger, but also because he has to prove to himself that his rescue mission hadn’t been financed by a predator who wanted his “property” returned. His search will force him to confront a new kind of human ugliness and, finally, to practice the survivalist triage that has marked—and cursed—his life since childhood. In Mask Market, Burke the outlaw investigator finds himself searching for the truth: not only about a girl named Beryl, but also about himself.
This is classic Burke: dark, dangerous, and galvanizing, from the opening scene to the explosive climax.