The novel's title is a phrase used by Pierce and his associates in reference to their pursuit of a molecular computer the size of a dime. The title may also refer to Pierce's pursuit of the missing woman whose phone number he inherited, since the slang term "dime" can be used to describe a beautiful woman (a perfect 10).
- Pierce's sister, Isabelle, was one of the nine women murdered by Norman Church, the serial killer who was later shot and killed by LAPD detective Harry Bosch.
- Pierce seeks legal counsel from defense attorney Janis Langwiser, who advised Bosch during his investigation into Howard Elias's murder, and prosecuted David Storey alongside Roger Kretzler.
- Pierce is pursued by LAPD detective Robert Renner, who later joins the Open-Unsolved Unit and works alongside Harry Bosch.