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.