Broken Dolls by BR Kingsolver
Private investigator RB Kendrick makes her living nailing cheating spouses, digging up other dirt to help in a divorce, finding long-lost relatives, and occasionally sniffing out criminal activity and fraud.
When she takes a job to find a missing girl, she has no idea she is headed for the most dangerous case of her career. Usually, her ability to read minds gives her an edge. But when the people she’s hunting are also telepaths, that advantage is limited.
The search takes her into the dark underbelly of telepathic society, where anything, and anyone, is for sale. She discovers that telepathic women and girls are being trafficked as the ultimate sex slaves.
With people trying to kill her, she’s on the run, not knowing who she can trust. Will she find the missing girl, or become a victim herself?
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There was an uncomfortable moment, then Morrighan leaned forward and said, “Rebecca’s a wilder.”
The look on Rebecca’s face turned defiant. “I don’t know who the hell I’m related to,” she said.
I shrugged. “No big deal. I know who my father was, but he doesn’t acknowledge me. I grew up outside a Clan, also.”
The stiffness Rebecca had assumed flowed out of her. “Did you know what you are?” she asked.
“Oh, yes. I have a maternal line that stretches back a long way. We’re all bastards.” I saw Morrighan flinch at my use of the word. “The Clans are big on screwing around and pretending they’re pure.”
Rebecca’s answer surprised me. “Not all of them are that way. O’Donnell doesn’t have the same views as the European Clans. We don’t make any distinction as to bastards, wilders, and princes of the blood.”
“Well,” I said, “they definitely do in Ireland.”
“I thought you were Welsh,” Rebecca said.
“My mother is. My father is Irish. I’ve only met him a couple of times, and he wasn’t particularly friendly.” My voice was harsh, even to my own ears. I had always told myself that I didn’t care. But if I didn’t, would it bother me so much? Hell. I just knew that it always made me feel dirty and insignificant when he would visit Mum and barely acknowledge my existence.
Morrighan leaned forward. “Do you mind if I tell her?” she asked me.
It took me a moment to understand what she meant. I shook my head.
“You know Rhiannon’s father,” Morrighan said. “He’s Hugh O’Neill.”
Rebecca snorted a laugh.
“Your mother must be a hell of a woman. As far as I can tell, you inherited nothing from him. Hugh is a waste of oxygen.”
Morrighan and I stared at her, and she turned bright red. “Oh, shit. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I’m such an idiot sometimes.”
I started laughing. Morrighan joined me. I laughed until tears ran down my cheeks, spoiling the makeup I’d put on that morning.
“Oh, hell,” I gasped, “I’ve thought that since I was five years old. It’s so good to hear someone else say it.”
About the Author:
I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.
I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I’ve skied since high school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I’ve hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven’t done enough of it. I’ve seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England and France. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite.
I have a very significant other, two cats and two Basset Hounds. I’m currently living in Baltimore, nine blocks from the harbor, but still own a home in New Mexico.
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