A labyrinth of a police procedural punctuated by non-stop action fuels Kathleen Kent’s second gripping novel about Dallas narcotics Detective Betty Rhyzyk. In addition to a detailed look at police work, The Burn is a solid exploration of how a cop who keeps her emotions in check recovers from a near-death experience ... Briskly paced, The Burn barely allows the reader to take a breath as believable twists careen throughout. Caustic and prickly, Betty has a propensity for confrontation and is fearless when cornered. She may not make a good friend — or life partner, just ask Jackie — but her bravery makes her the kind of cop you want on your side ... As The Burn shows, Kent is just beginning to explore Betty’s many layers.
Here, Betty’s struggles with PTSD and challenges to her identity as a cop spark compelling character evolution as she lowers walls to bond with a pair of old souls she meets on the streets. A gripping, powerfully human procedural.
Kent’s Dallas setting is so meticulously drawn that one can practically smell the streets, the sour odor of the street people. All of her characters are memorable, and not a single one, even the minor characters, is less than three dimensional. Kent has a talent for creating real people with a few succinct sentences ... Her plot is complex, and much of the action is violent as one expects from noir novels. Those who may be uncomfortable with Betty’s and Jackie’s lesbian relationship, suspend your discomfort; otherwise, you miss the best kick-ass character to come along in several years.