This is a Mike Shayne mystery without the Castro boosterism. Written in the middle 1960s, it’s a throwback to the old style of hardboiled mystery combined with the contemporary laxity in moral values. In it, an underworld associate of Shayne’s gets set up. A fixed football game, a horserace gone bad, and a set-up stick-up lead the associate to New York, where he’s ultimately set up for a narcotics bust. Shayne has to delve into the complex set of grifters and whatnot to find justice.
It’s a good bit of paperback hardboiled mystery. I’ve read a number of the Shayne series in the past decades, and I’ll pick up others I’ll find. That’s a pretty rousing endorsement from me, except I suppose that I pick up pretty much anything if it’s under a buck at a book fair.