A perfectly planned jewel heist begins to go wrong when Gloria Vane, the beautiful film starlet, is abducted by the escaping robbers. When gang leader Ace Monohan begins to fall for Gloria, it leads to dissension amongst his men, and the destruction and abandonment of his hideout. With Ace - still holding the stolen jewels - being forced to go on the run alone, Gloria is free of his unwelcome attentions - only to fall into the hands of rival gangster "Fingers" Baxter, who plans to use her as a cat's-paw to lure Ace out of hiding.
Jessica Standish is fatally stabbed with an oriental dagger in her own bedroom. Her murderer is seen escaping from the scene by her brother, who identifies him as her former fiancé, Arthur Caldon. Later that same night, Caldon's cottage burns to the ground, but he's not inside. Instead, he vanishes. Inspector Betteridge, the chief investigator of the murder, learns that the dagger had definitely belonged to the missing man; but he also uncovers many puzzling strands to the affair.