KILLER TAKE ALL by Philip Race (aka E.M. Parsons)

Amazon

They call him Johnny Berlin and he has an instinct for cards… for trouble…and for women.

KILLER TAKE ALL

He’d dealt at all the biggest tables in Reno and Vegas. He’d told the head of the gambling syn­dicate to go to hell–and repeated the message to his hired killers. He’d had women throwing themselves at him at every turn… and he loved it. That was Johnny Berlin. Who would have thought he’d find the dice loaded against him in a peanut-sized town off a back road in northern California? Who would have thought he’d fall for a nice girl? And who would have thought he’d risk his life for her? Nobody…least of all Johnny Berlin himself.

On his way from San Francisco, Johnny gets lost in the fog while driving the costal route to Portland, Oregon. Stopping to get directions from a stranger turns out to be deadly, when the man —a dangerous racketeer—turns up dead and Johnny is pegged as the killer. Now it’ll take all his smarts and toughness to save himself and the woman he loves.