Book Reviews

The Dime, by Kathleen Kent


Author: Kathleen Kent
Publisher: Mulholland Books
ISBN: 978-0316311038
Genre: Crime | Suspense | Mystery


Brooklyn’s toughest female detective takes on Dallas—and neither is ready for the fight.

Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart. Good thing for Betty Rhyzyk she’s from a family of take-no-prisoners Brooklyn police detectives. But her Big Apple wisdom will only get her so far when she relocates to The Big D, where Mexican drug cartels and cult leaders, deadbeat skells and society wives all battle for sunbaked turf.

Betty is as tough as the best of them, but she’s deeply shaken when her first investigation goes sideways. Battling a group of unruly subordinates, a persistent stalker, a formidable criminal organization, and an unsupportive girlfriend, the unbreakable Detective Betty Rhyzyk may be reaching her limit.


The Dime—Kathleen Kent’s first crime novel—opens with an explosive, ugly start that will have you page turning from the get go. She also manages to bring a fresh twist to the genre and then ups the ante. Her main protagonist is a feisty narcotics cop who transfers in to Dallas from Brooklyn. Not only is she a third generation cop, she’s Polish, and her roots are showing. Red-head Betty Rhyzyk is tough, flawed, tenacious, and is anything but your typical cop.

Narrated in the first person, Betty lenses the action and characters through her own prism, with both a dry sense of wit, tough talk, and a vulnerability we seldom get to see in a main character. What’s more, Betty has her doubts, which makes her all the more human.

In Betty’s world, we get to grips with the criminal underbelly of life in Dallas, with the drug cartels notching up the body-count. There’s nothing sexy or glamourous about brutal violence. And as various factions vie for turf, Betty has to navigate and juggle the vagaries of her private life, with that of her job, and if that wasn’t enough, she’s being stalked by someone who sends her a decapitated head, as a gift.

Sharp, observant, witty and, at times, violent, The Dime is the first in a new, exciting series, featuring detective Betty Rhyzyk. And I, for one, cannot wait for the next installment.

NOTE: This review was first published July, 2017, on BookBlurb.


  1. This one sounds as though it packs a punch, Alex. And I do like strong female protagonists who are also human and flawed, as we all are. There’s a balance there, which it sounds as though Kent achieves. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Alex says

      Oh, indeed, Margot. Kathleen is another great find for me. Along with some compatriots of hers, I’ve discovered a whole other sub-genre of crime fiction: southern noir. But yes, The Dime is an excellent read. I’m really looking forward to the follow up.

      In between time, I’ve just bought The Heretic’s Daughter to go in my TBR pile.

  2. “There’s nothing sexy or glamourous about brutal violence” – I am so happy to hear that. There have been instances when I felt like authors indulged in it for the sake of shocking audience / making a statement and sometimes glamorised it. It’s refreshing knowing The Dime doesn’t fall into such category! 👌

    Great review, I really want to read this book now. 😊📚

    • Alex says

      Having only read the one book by Kent (so far), Vera, I would say she goes for honesty rather than glorification. There’s also a sense of humour in her writing too. Maybe droll, or a little dark, but again, refreshingly honest. As are her characters. And Betty is one of those who leaves a lasting impression for being determined against the odds.

      It helps that her writting is easy, effortless and entertaining. I hope you give her a go.

  3. Thank you so much for your continued support! I am editing the second Det. Betty book, which is tentatively titled “The Knife”, but have no publication date set from Mulholland Books. Stay tuned. Best regards, KK

    • Alex says

      Indeed, you are more than welcome, Kathleen! And thank you for taking the time to stop by to update me and my readers about the sequel. I’m excited to know you are well into the editing phase. And, hopefully, closer to release time, you’ll let me know so I can spread the word.

      Thank you, again!

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