Det. Betty Rhyzyk, a tough-as-nails Brooklyn cop transplanted to Dallas and the narrator of historical novelist Kent’s outstanding first crime novel, works undercover in narcotics. At almost six feet tall with flaming red hair and a steady girlfriend, she’s not the norm in Texas. When her latest case, involving notorious cocaine dealer Tomás “El Gitano” Ruiz, goes sour and leaves a stack of bodies, she’s understandably shaken—and pissed off when the matter is turned over to homicide; Betty isn’t one to let things go. So she and her team, including partner Seth Dutton, continue to work the case on the sly, and it seems the case is working Betty, too, when a nasty present from a crime scene turns up in her apartment, courtesy of a stalker who waltzed in unbeknownst to Betty’s doctor girlfriend, Jackie, and left unnoticed. As the tension grows, Betty isn’t sure that the cartels are responsible, and her sources agree—this looks like something much closer to home and even more dangerous. Kent (The Outcasts) never sacrifices robust characters, or biting humor, during scenes of brutal violence, which, though disturbing, are essential to the rich plot. Agent: Julie Barer, Book Group. (Feb.)
One of the Best Books of the Year - Dallas Observer, BookRiot
"One of the most breathless, inventive, and be forewarned, violent suspense plots I've read in a long time."Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
"Exciting [and] moving . . . Grisly but likable"Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
"Terrific . . . Kent's own ability to avoid predictable outcomes and keep the reader on edge bodes well for future installments in this series."Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune
"The plot revolves around the Asian sex- and drug-trafficking trade run by the cutest little old lady you ever did see, but the broader appeal is Kent's offbeat humor, which pulls up reins just before it takes the story over a cliff."Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"Kathleen Kent finds the noir side of Dallas. . . . Betty Ryhzyk [is] a beguiling protagonist. . . . [She] brings freshness and new energy to the role. . . . There's no shortage of Pine Curtain gothic in this landscape of mangy dogs, religious nuts and violent meth-heads."Doug J. Swanson, Dallas Morning News
"Gritty and gripping, explosive and emotional, Kathleen Kent's The Dime grabs you from its opening scene and never lets go. Kent tears off the glossy facade of Dallas to show us a dark underbelly of crime. A great start from an exciting new series."
Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of The First Order
"As hard-to-forget as Kent's main character is, the breakout star [is] the city of Dallas."Rachel Williams, Dallas Observer
"Kent knows her craft. The Dime's tight plotting and masterful suspense is no surprise."Ginni Beam, D Magazine
"[Kent] explodes into the crime genre with a detective who has all the qualities that'll make her stand out from the crowd. . . . Betty is [a] kick-butt detective. . . . Kent's brilliant, sometimes-gentle and humorous observations humanize and set this book apart."Barbara Clark, BookPage
"Outstanding . . . Kent never sacrifices robust characters, or biting humor, during scenes of brutal violence, which, though disturbing, are essential to the rich plot."Publishers Weekly (starred boxed review)
"Violent, sexy, and completely absorbing. Kent's detective is Sam Spade reincarnated-as a brilliant, modern woman. . . . The mystery succeeds as both whodunit and as a deeper character-driven novel. Kent neatly balances the tough talk and high body count of a traditional hard-boiled detective novel, reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, with the modern strength of this complex, flawed, and interesting woman. . . . Every layer of this novel strikes the right note."Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Kent is an effective storyteller and an acute social observer, with a sharp eye for Texas-sized absurdities."The Los Angeles Review of Books
"Perfect for the current time"Flavorwire
"Betty is a terrific character . . . A worthy addition to the ranks of strong female detectives."Booklist
"I loved The Dime. Betty is my hero. Smart, determined, and so unique. The writing is as smooth as Texas spring water and the story grabs you by the throat and drags you happily through a briar patch of surprise and excitement and leaves you exhausted under the Dallas skyline. More please!"
Joe R. Lansdale, author of Honky Tonk Samurai
"[A] gritty series debut . . . This fast-paced, adrenaline-producing suspense novel will appeal to Karin Slaughter fans."Library Journal
"In The Dime Kathleen Kent introduces an exciting new force in the crime thriller world: Detective Betty Rhyzk. You probably can't pronounce her last name but she doesn't give a shit; she'd more likely roundhouse kick you in the ear for your stupidity. Betty comes from a long line of battle-hardened NYC cops but when she dives into the criminal world of Dallas, Texas, Betty quickly realizes that she ain't in Brooklyn anymore. The tension escalates to a shattering, shocking conclusion that will take Betty to the very edge of what she can endure, physically and psychologically. Kent masterfully draws upon the rich tapestry of neo-noir Dallas, a city of grit, glitter, and guns, that hasn't had its proper treatment in contemporary crime fiction. Until now."
Matthew Bondurant, author of The Wettest Country in the World
"Smart, gritty, and populated by a rogue's gallery of unforgettable characters, The Dime is relentless. As it races full-bore its way toward a climax that's truly creepy, the best you can do is hang onand it's a hell of a ride."Kelly Braffet, author of Save Yourself
"Kent has written a brilliant detective with hard-edges and heart while striking the perfect balance of humor, violence, action, and procedural."Jamie Canaves, BookRiot
"Only a fan blowing in the right direction could flip the pages of this lightning-paced tale any faster. It may be her crime fiction debut, but Kathleen Kent writes with the hard-boiled confidence of a veteran....Betty is buff, brave, and believable. She is a terrific, fully-realized addition to her genre."Minneapolis Star-Tribune
After three historical novels, including the best-selling Heretic's Daughter, Kent moves into crime fiction with this gritty series debut. Brooklyn detective Betty Rhyzyk has moved to Dallas for a more balanced life with her girlfriend, and while policing in the East has toughened her up, Betty is still unprepared for the drug trafficking cartel she encounters in the Southwest. Fortunately, the voice of tough cop Uncle Benny in her head helps her make hard decisions as the new leader of a surveillance team. They are ready to take down a major drug dealer when things go very wrong. As Betty discovers how the action in Dallas is connected to a bust she made in Brooklyn, she also must deal with hostile subordinates and her girlfriend's unwelcoming family. VERDICT This fast-paced, adrenaline-producing suspense novel will appeal to Karin Slaughter fans; it will also attract crime fiction aficionados who appreciate Minerva Koenig's Julia Kalas series for its Texas setting and resilient female protagonist with a sixth sense. [See Prepub Alert, 4/26/16.]—Sharon Mensing, Emerald Mountain Sch., Steamboat Springs, CO
Kent (The Outcasts, 2013, etc.) introduces a tough and engaging new detective in this police thriller set in Dallas.Betty Rhyzyk has transferred to the Dallas PD after beginning her career in Brooklyn, a move that requires pretty major adjustments, especially for an almost-6-foot-tall, red-haired Polish Yankee lesbian. At heart, Betty is just a really good cop, and when she's on the front lines of a drug bust gone wrong, she quickly realizes, as the bodies stack up, that the mystery is much more sophisticated and far-reaching than it seems. The final twist that finds Betty captured and held prisoner becomes a bit overwhelming, but the mystery succeeds as both whodunit and as a deeper character-driven novel. Kent neatly balances the tough talk and high body count of a traditional hard-boiled detective novel, reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, with the modern strength of this complex, flawed, and interesting woman. The rapport between Betty and her co-workers, her insecurities and love for her domestic partner, her memories of the New York cop uncle who inspired her to follow in his footsteps—every layer of this novel strikes the right note. And narrating it all is Betty herself, reflective, plainspoken, and alternately incredibly scared and incredibly brave. She knows how to take risks in her career, but can she balance that with a real private life, considering that the model provided by her own parents was dysfunctional in the extreme? Luckily, this seems to be the first in a series, so we'll have a chance to find out. Violent, sexy, and completely absorbing. Kent's detective is Sam Spade reincarnated—as a brilliant, modern woman.