New York P.I. Johnny Liddell meets a damsel in distress at a seedy bar; later she turns up dead, and when Liddell finds out she was actually an undercover Treasury agent, he plots vengeance in Frank Kane's Time to Prey.
Liddell is your typical wiseacre shamus with a loving secretary and a world-weary cop pal with the usual yeggs set in opposition. What surprised me was how doggedly Liddell set about framing various bad guys without the benefit of hard evidence or due process, setting in motion a number of murders and at least one suicide, with hardly a flicker of conscience.
Frank Kane and his detective creation had a long run in their day (this entry is from the early 60s), but I had never heard of either of them until I found this paperback at a flea market for fifty cents and got interested in its pulp cover. Frank Kane's writing was interesting enough to keep an eye out for more.