Terminal by Andrew H. Vachss
After years of carefully working the edges, a blood-commitment forces Burke’s return to his former career: “violence-for-money.” Claw, once the shot-caller of a white supremacist prison gang is free . . . and terminally ill–he desperately needs a pile of cash to bet on a long-shot cure. He tells Burke about a punk who once purchased protection from him, a man who claims to know the truth behind a “cold case, ” the unsolved rape-murder of a thirteen-year-old girl. The killers are all weathly men today, ideal blackmail marks. But wealth is power, and the informant needs Claw’s protection again. Burke decides to roll the dice. A win would give Burke the two things he lives for: Money and Revenge. A loss would turn “terminal” from a diagnosis into a certainly, and not just for Claw.