This book opens with New York City of hansom days.
Hawkins, drunkard, renounces claim to his infant daughter, Claire, in favor of the more respectable Paul Veniza, Pawnbroker.
The curtain next rises upon Samoa, and here John Bruce, who gambled away one fortune, accepts the role of a spy over a chain of gambling houses in the States in return for a life of ease.
Coming to New York, he meets Claire, now a woman, and also the villain, Dr. Crang, who shamelessly applies the hypodermic syringe above his wrists in public, and who is determined upon marrying the heroine.
It is a story that moves swiftly and adventure lies around the corner with danger lurking just behind and with romance silently hurrying along the same path, so as to be at the grand finale.
The story is not of pawned things, but of pawned people.
An exciting story of a gambler and his adventures. The main characters have all pawned their lives away in one way or another. It is colorful but odd and fantastic.
This is a great thriller. The plot is fast moving and keeps twisting and turning. Evil, redemption and romance,loyalty and hate the author throws them all at you. Mostly set in New York.