What really makes The Dime special is not just the fact that it features a lesbian detective. Rather, it's the fact that it shoves its lesbian detective into one of the most breathless, inventive and —be forewarned—violent suspense plots I've read in a long time. Halfway through, The Dime accelerates into warp speed, and Betty has to draw on all her Brooklyn, Polish, tough-girl moxie to fight her way out of an imprisonment that would have made Harry Houdini hang his head in defeat.
Ryhzyk is an engaging twist on traditional tropes. Sure, she has to deal with soul-corroding police matters but she also brings freshness and new energy to the role ... Yet readers of noir will find much that is familiar. For example, Rhyzyk apparently graduated from the traditional wisecracking gumshoe school of hard knocks ... There's no shortage of Pine Curtain gothic in this landscape of mangy dogs, religious nuts and violent meth-heads. The final chapters bristle with action and are not for the squeamish.
...[an] often exciting and sometimes moving police thriller ... she takes further advice and comfort from remembered conversations with her late Uncle Benny, a Brooklyn cop as wise as he was tough. One of his mottos: 'Don’t get stuck in the abyss of your own morass.' Benny appears in flashback-memories spaced throughout The Dime, the most effective of which turns into a surreal surprise revealing the meaning of this grisly but likable novel’s title.
...within the first page, Kent had me sold. The first chapter of The Dime is some of the most intense crime fiction I’ve ever read. Kent understands how to open up a book. How to immediately command control of her readers’ attention. After chapter one, however, I’m afraid things take a mind-numbing halt, and the story takes a very long detour before picking back up again. There are many instances throughout The Dime where Kent loses her momentum and the story drags, but when she regains her confidence and steps on the gas pedal, things really start to fly ... If you dig intense crime thrillers with unpredictable twists and witty dialogue, I highly recommend you pick this one up. I enjoyed it for the most part. I just would have maybe preferred less drawn out scenes in police stations consisting of story-board dialogue.
...The Dime is a gritty police thriller set in contemporary Texas, which kicks off a new series starring tough lesbian detective, Betty Rhyzyk ... Betty’s narration throughout, at once amiable and edgy, is a continuous pleasure to read, even when the story veers into dark and ugly terrain ...plot shifts come hard and fast, causing a kind of readerly whiplash as the case is persistently rethought by Betty, Seth, and their small handful of (male) co-workers...I fear the whole enterprise may be in danger of burning itself out prematurely, overwhelmed by the sheer adrenalized pace ...Kent has shown herself to be both an effective storyteller and an acute social observer, with a sharp eye for Texas-sized absurdities.