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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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.
The femme fatale sitting in front of me warred with a vision in my mind of a white-clad Druid priestess.
“Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?”
“No, not at all,” Morrighan said. I saw a light in her eyes. She sat up a little straighter and a smile played with the corners of her mouth.
“I have an aunt and a cousin who are Druids. They’re professional courtesans. But you don’t do that, do you? Are you a priestess?”
The expression on her face softened. “I use my Gifts for O’Byrne. I seduce politicians, businessmen, and others we want to influence. I go hunting because I enjoy the Glow I get from having sex. But yes, I was trained as a Druid, and I preside over the high festivals for Clan O’Byrne. We still hold to the old ways and worship the Goddess.”
Not just a priestess, but a High Priestess. Terminology wasn’t just trivial to her. Druid hierarchy isn’t explicit, but if she presided over ceremonies, it was because the other Druids deferred to her. She was very young for such an honor. I opened my mouth to ask another question and then stopped. I felt my face grow warm. Even for someone as nosy as I am, the question was really out of bounds.
An amused smile blossomed on her face. She regarded me for a full minute.
“Go ahead. Ask.”
“I, well, you said you’d been trained. Did you inherit your position from another priestess?”
“What a delicate way of asking the question,” she laughed. “Yes, I received the Death Gift from my predecessor.”
At the moment of death, Morrighan had held the hand of the old High Priestess. When priestess’s soul left her body, her memories had transferred into Morrighan. The memories of the old priestess, and those she had received from her predecessors.
“How long?” I breathed.
“Twenty-five centuries. Unbroken back to the early days of the Tuatha de Danaan,” she said. “Everything since the Cataclysm.”
Goddess. The woman had the memories of all the High Priestesses of Clan O’Byrne. I was looking at someone who held the wisdom of the ages. All I could do was stare at her with my mouth hanging open.