Old pro Pendleton gives p.i. Joe Copp a case of amnesia and a nasty concussion, then turns him loose to find out not only who brained him but how and why his gun was used to kill Martha Kaufman--a woman he can't even remember meeting. A painting in his apartment leads him to Martha's art gallery up in Mammoth Lakes, and to the revelation that he and Martha had quietly married a few weeks before her death. Several messy murders later, Joe is wary of the local police chief, newly aware of an arranged first marriage between Martha and a homosexual co-worker of her wealthy dad with ``business concerns'' in Vegas, and in possession of a million bucks in bearer bonds from Martha's safe-deposit box. A photograph of two surprising couples, a self-inflicted wound that sets up an alibi, and an empty coffin finally add up to a whopping marital crisis for Joe, who, in effect, twice becomes a widower before his memory returns in full. Typical Pendleton bed'em and dead'em saga, better plotted than the two previous Copp novels but as macho and frenetic as the three before those.