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At the New York offices of The Periscope newspaper, publisher Roger Lewis is dictating an article to his secretary, Mona Durant, when he receives a call from his married lover, actress Doris King. When Doris, whose money has been supporting Lewis' "scandal sheet," tells him that she has more promissory notes for him to sign, he agrees to come by her apartment. Before Lewis arrives, Doris' husband, Harry Jackson, a has-been theatrical producer, confronts his wife about her affair and declares that he is taking all of her jewels, her only remaining asset, so she will not give them to Lewis. Harry announces that he is moving upstate to be near his schoolteacher daughter Linda, then exits. On his way out, Harry bumps into Lewis, who notices Doris' jewels in his pockets and argues with him. While lurking outside Doris' living room, Lewis overhears her talking on the phone, first with Mona, then with someone in her lawyer's office. Assuming that she is planning a divorce and will expect him to marry her without her jewels, Lewis sneaks up and strangles her. After burning all of the promissory notes in Doris' safe, Lewis tells the building manager, Saunders, that he is worried because Doris will not answer her door. Saunders finds Doris' body, and when police lieutenant James Webster arrives to investigate, Lewis implicates Harry in the murder. Later, District Attorney George Richards orders Webster to go to Sanborn Falls to question Linda about her father, who has not been seen since the murder. Webster tracks Linda to her school and convinces her to come to New York with him to help locate her father. At The Periscope offices, meanwhile, Lewis hires Biggie Wolfe, a fast-talking hood, to find out where the producer is hiding. After Biggie spots Harry and follows him to his apartment, Harry entrusts Biggie to fence Doris' jewels for enough money to hire the best defense attorney in town. Harry then notices Linda's planted photo in the newspaper, along with the name of her hotel, and calls her. Eager to see his daughter, Harry gives Linda his address but instructs her not to bring the police. Biggie, meanwhile, reports back to Lewis and tells him that Harry gave him the jewels. Concerned that the police will trace the jewels back to him, Lewis orders Biggie to return them to Harry. At Harry's hideout, Harry reveals to Linda his suspicions that Lewis killed Doris. After Linda leaves, Webster, who has followed her, goes up to Harry's door. When Webster identifies himself as a policeman, Harry, in a panic, shoots himself. Just then, Biggie shows up and, seeing Webster, takes off without returning the jewels. Instead of reporting back to Lewis, however, Biggie visits racketeer Johnny Rocco. Rocco agrees to fence the jewels and double-cross Lewis, on condition that Biggie help smuggle a man named Mort Stone across the border. Later, Linda, upset about her father's suicide, tells Webster that Lewis killed Doris and demands to confront him. Although Webster suspects that Linda might have the missing jewels, he agrees to arrange a meeting with Lewis. Biggie, meanwhile, lies to Lewis about the jewels, and when Lewis, who had the hood followed, demands to know why he went to see Rocco, Biggie tells him about Stone, whom Lewis knows is in jail. Lewis then goes with Webster to the district attorney's office to meet Linda. After Linda angrily accuses Lewis of framing her father, Lewis informs Richards in private that Stone will soon be attempting a prison break. Acting on Lewis' tip, Richards notifies the prison, and Stone is killed while trying to escape. Furious, Rocco reveals to Biggie that Stone was his brother and, after forcing him to implicate Lewis in the double-cross, kills him. Rocco then ambushes Linda and persuades her to help him exact revenge on Lewis by luring him to his hideout. When Linda phones Lewis at his office, Mona, who is in love with Lewis and is angry about his double-dealings, eavesdrops on an extension. As soon as Lewis leaves to meet Linda, Webster shows up to question Mona, and she reveals that Doris had called her after Harry left and therefore Harry could not have murdered her. Mona then mentions where Lewis has gone, and Webster heads for Rocco's hideout. There, Rocco confronts Lewis and tells him that he is going to plant the jewels in Lewis' pocket, then shoot him and Linda and make it look as though they have killed each other. Before Rocco can execute his plan, however, Webster arrives. Linda screams and alerts the detective to her presence, and a shootout ensues. Webster kills Rocco and his two cohorts, and when Lewis attempts to elude arrest, he shoots him as well. Later, Webster drives Linda back to Sanborn Falls, and the two share a kiss.