The object that drops Denver car salesman Quitman O'Neil into a world of trouble is a 1964-D Peace dollar. Never heard of it? Right, that's the point: The whole issue was destroyed except for a single survivor that Quitman finds -- and casually pockets -- in the apartment of current lover Helen Costello. Word gets out in a couple of spare, breezy scenes, and suddenly Quitman's partner Marly Martinez is dead; Helen is dead, horribly; and the killer, Lester VanDyk, strong right arm of monomaniacal coin-collector Henry Lyman, is ready to get really nasty. The only obstacles between the bad guys and their $1 grail are Quitman, his remaining lover, Maria Stevenson -- who just happens to be the homicide chief's jailbait daughter -- and, of course, the double-crossing numismatists themselves. And Quitman, by now, has the advantage of not even wanting the $2 million the coin could bring: ""He didn't care about the money, he just wanted to have it. A way to count who was winning."" Newcomer Valentinetti's sparsely peopled payoff is something of a letdown. But he shapes scenes with a sizzling terseness that'll make you tingle. Like Hemingway, this guy knows just what to leave out.