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Chain of Evidence

The Lesser Sin

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  1. My eyes sweep my length. I want to be presentable before stepping inside. Removing my glasses, I clean them with a section of my lab coat. Their circular rims portray me in a scholarly light and I like them, so I take extra care. Pressing my badge against the reader, I smile at the click of the electric lock.

    Yes. She is desirable.  

    Especially now, that she lacks a pulse.

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  2. I made my way to the exit and listened for the sounds that I expected to hear. Frantic cries for help among a cacophony of confusion. And when I heard them, I turned to look as anyone might. I watched the bouncers push through the crowd, saw them knock people aside as they rushed to her. And among the music and the screaming, the dancing and the panic, I knew what the bouncers did not. 

    Now I wait for her on a concrete sidewalk as a crescent moon arcs over the city—the Cheshire’s grin, pasted on the night. My watch reads 3:36
    anda thin layer forms on my skin. Humidity? Or sweat. Does it really matter? Baltimore is always humid in August, but more so tonight, and breathing is like sucking air through a wet sponge.

    The sound of an approaching engine heralds her arrival. Headlamps bounce off the black surface of Pratt Street and a body transport turns the corner. Launching my cigarette into the night, I track its fiery path before turning toward the medical examiner’s building. Stacy’s image fills my thoughts as I pause beside a glass door that reflects my image



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  3. First Scene-Killing Stacy Culver

    Someone called her Stacy. A fitting name for one so alluring. Wanton desire in a tight red dress. A sure thing for any man. Any man but me.

    She turned away without a word, sparing herself the pretense of a make-believe courtesy. With little more than a glimpse she deemed me unworthy, and that simple gesture allowed me to chart the evening’s course. The more minutes that passed, the more invisible I became, and soon Stacy and her gaggle of friends were in a 
    world where I was not invited. They laughed and caroused and teased one another, and one or two of them went off to dance with men. Stacy drank white wine, and that was perfect for me.  

    Then the moment was upon me. Stacy’s wine sat unattended, unnoticed by anyone, except me. I reached for a napkin and passed over her glass. No one saw the cyanide drop. No one saw it dissolve in an instant, and as I turned from the bar they continued their boisterous antics…as if I hadn’t been there at all.
    ​​

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  4. The lead character of Corey's debut novel is Detective-Sergeant Moby Truax, a cash-strapped cop who is nearing retirement. However, Truax works on a case involving a series of murders where the killer uses cyanide. This novel established the author's penchant for anti-heroes or the characters who don't really fit the traditional archetype of a rescuer. Truax is definitely a flawed human being who is running from his own demons. Then again, that does not change the fact that he is frighteningly good at being a cop. This novel was published in August 2013.
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  1. “I am not married.”

    “You’re splitting hairs. He is, you knew, and slept with a man out of wedlock. That’s a sin in your Catholic faith, is it not?”

    Molly did not answer. The man hit her again, harder than before, knocking loose a tooth. Molly spit blood.

    “Answer me.”

    Defiance shown in Molly’s eyes and she said nothing.

    “That was a question, Molly.”

    The man raised his open hand again, slowly this time.

    “YES!” she cried. “Yes … it’s a sin.”

    “Yes, it is. And that makes you a whore, does it not?”

    Molly glared but held her tongue. The man balled a fist and hit her again, driving her face into her chest. Dazed, her lip split and bleeding, she whispered, “Yes … I am a whore.”
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  2. “I am wondering how you justify your behavior, considering the teachings of your faith,” he continued, shedding his shirt one muscular shoulder at a time. “You are a religious woman. Catholic, I believe. And yet you are a whore. How do you qualify the disparity?”

    “I am not a whore.”

    “You slept with a married man.”

    “I made a mistake. That’s not a sin. How do you know all this? Who the hell are you?”

     His open hand to her face rang through the emptiness. 

    “Really? Adultery is not a sin?”

    Molly said nothing.

    “You are to answer when I ask you a question.”







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  3. His fist came across her jaw before she spoke another word. Blood sprayed from her mouth into the blackness beyond the light that filled the space around them. The grunt that came from her was like that from a terrible fall.

    “No questions or threats, Molly.”

    Molly glared at the man as she licked blood from her lip. “My boyfriend will find me,” she warned. “He will send you to prison.”

    “Did you really think he would leave his wife, jeopardize his position, for the likes of you?”

    The defiance she felt drained as she paled.

    “Why…. Why would.… What?”

    He delivered another blow to Molly’s face, this one just below her cheekbone. The swelling was immediate.

    “I told you. No questions.”

    The man began unbuttoning his shirt.




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  4. First Scene-Killing Molly Braver

    Daemon Goode didn’t speak at first. A creature of habit, he stepped to a wooden workbench and walked through a series of tasks to prepare for his evening with her. He made ready his tools: the monitor, the video camera, the automotive battery and jumper cables; and the straight razors. Satisfied all was in order, he turned to her.

    “I’d ask if you are comfortable, Molly,” he said, his voice soft, almost pleasant. “But I know you are not. I’m sorry to say, this is as comfortable as you are apt to feel during your time here.”

    She lifted her head as high as pain allowed. “Who are you?” she asked. “Where am I? Why am I here?”

    “You are not allowed to ask questions, Molly. You will do as I tell you or you will be punished. Do you understand?”

    “You’ll go to prison for this. My boyfriend is—”




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  5. Molly saw on the monitor that she was in some sort of three-walled chamber strung up by her wrists, and as the dire nature of her circumstances hit with full force, her heart began to race as adrenalin poured into her system. Her eyes flittered about, fixing on nothing but seeing everything as she searched for an escape. Screaming to be released, she thrashed against her bonds as the horror of things to come seized her. 

    The man retrieved something from the workbench, turned, and showed it to Molly. It shone with a mirror-like finish, reflecting the light. 

    “Be quiet, Molly.”

    Her eyes widened at the sight of the straight razor, and she forced herself to remain calm—but it lasted only a moment. Every fiber of every muscle quivered and she fought to contain the surge welling up from her gut. Her cheeks inflated like balloons as she pressed split lips together to mute her whimpers, yet tiny sobs escaped with each excited breath. Her twisting and writhing threatened to rip her arms from their sockets as she summoned every ounce of strength to get away.

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  6. “There, is it not better to admit the truth about one’s self? They say confession is good for the soul. Perhaps now your God will accept you when we are finished here.”

    With those words, what was once surreal was no longer so. Molly began to understand that this was no freak using her as a play toy, or someone who would have his fun and then release her. 

    “Would you care for some water?”

    Molly nodded, instinct telling her that water meant survival. The man held a bottle of water to her lips and she drank, the pain in her face of lower importance than her thirst. The man unbuckled his belt and finished undressing. He was aroused and Molly turned away in disgust. He smirked with amusement as he reached behind him to the workbench and powered his equipment. The monitor blinked to life and the Record light on the camcorder burned red.






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  7. Corey's second novel features a formidable woman named Hanna Braver, who happens to be a sniper working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Hanna is a study in contradictions. While she essentially functions as an assassin for the CIA, she holds on to her faith. A devout Catholic, she consistently prays for forgiveness for every life she takes. However, Hanna is later forced to make a choice between being a killer and being true to the dictates of her religion. This novel was published in August 2016.
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Mystery Author - Marni Graff 
When the end hits with a wallop, there will be one more twist that will surprise readers.
Read entire review


Majestic Burroughs
Not your run of the mill case, but amind bending smart grotesque individual committing senseless selfish murders
AAMBC Book Reviews


AMFW
Overall ~ a compelling read that kept me up until after midnight to reach the conclusion. It's hard to believe this is a debut novel because the work was polished 
and error free. 
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Linda Strong
This book ticks off all the boxes I look for in a mystery. The premise is deliciously enticing ...making it hard to put the book down for any reason.
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Dennis LaRaja
Hanna wants to kill a criminal - her sister's murderer who has been wrongly set free. The Lesser Sin is a very good book on many levels. As with Chain of Evidence, D. B. Corey's previous book, The Lesser Sin has the great writing that draws you into the story.
Read entire review 


Linda Thompson - Bookworm
… a book that was at the same time captivating yet disturbing, violent yet compassionate. DB Corey’s The Lesser Sin kept me up at night….
The character development in this novel is outstanding and Corey’s writing can easily be compared with that of John Sanford, Michel Connelly and even Patricia Cornwell.
Read entire review 

Amazon Customer - Diana Strine
… will have you asking yourself many profound questions, some of which you may never have a concrete answer!
Read entire review

 
F. J. Talley
The tension and conflicts started on page one, yet Corey manages to weave an entertaining and engaging story throughout all of its pages without letting up. 
Read entire review

More reviews ~ click here

Books Available Online

Click to buy today!

Chain of Evidence

The Lesser Sin

Barnes&Noble
Amazon​​
Barnes&Noble
Amazon​
Kobo
Books A Million
Kobo
Books A Million

Coming in 2018

The Lesser Sin - Conclusion

  1.   Novel currently under construction:

      ​The Greater Sin
    ​Working Title

    Setup:

    Hanna Braver buried her father following his murder in a gang drive-by hit meant for her. Now the gang is back to finish the job.
         

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  2. Never taking her eyes off the young Latinos carted away in cuffs, she scrutinized the screen, looking for the marks that would identify the two men that attacked her family. But the night footage was poor, and the high-powered light from the video camera turned faces away denying her a definitive look.

    A dog food commercial replaced the news segment and Hanna turned the TV off. Sweeping a few breadcrumbs from the tabletop onto her paper plate, she tossed everything into the trash, and in doing so, realized the can needed emptying. She pulled the plastic bag from the kitchen can and knotted the yellow plastic ties, then hauled it to the front door leaving her jacket on the couch. The sweats she’d slipped into when she got home would fend off the cool temperature for the short time she’d be outdoors.






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  3. Reaching the garage, she paused to reflect on the bullet-riddled Rubbermaid garbage can before tossing the kitchen bag in. A light breeze kicked up as she rolled the can down the drive, rustling autumn leaves across the lawn and bringing the unexpected scent of cigarette smoke.

    She spotted two men across the street dressed in jeans and dark hoodie sweatshirts—late teens, early twenties maybe—smoking and leaning against a tricked-out street racer that didn’t belong; the same type car used in the drive-by killing of her father two weeks ago.


    The men were small—not American men—with one taller than the other. The tall one spoke Spanish to the short one.


    “Tiempo para enseñar una lección a esta perra.”






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  4. Spanish was one of the world languages in addition to English, German, and French. Hanna spoke them all fluently along with several more. She understood what the man said. They were there to ‘teach her a lesson.’ She eased into a defensive stance that appeared relaxed and easily overpowered to the untrained eye.

    The men pushed off from the car and flicked their cigarettes into the night, and the embers swirled on the breeze. They started across the deserted neighborhood street with a nearly synchronized stride.


    No one was about, and the evening was quiet, save for the rustle of fallen leaves. The crescent moon cast a weak light, and the men looked her up and down before the tall one spoke. 


    “You talk to la policía, no?” he said, his teeth showing crooked in an overconfident grin. “You think maybe you get us to jail?”
    Hanna examined their faces in the eerie light of the moon. They had the marks she remembered from the drive-by attack—the scar and the missing ear.

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  5. The men advanced toward her, the taller one producing a black semi-auto from his waistband at the small of his back. He was still too far away, so in an effort to draw them closer, she remained stationary as they approached.

    “Maybe we teach you a little lesson tonight, puta!”


    Hanna remained motionless, cowering, appearing as a deer in headlights frozen with fear. The smaller man stopped short, smirking as the tall one advanced to within two feet of her, the gun pointed at her head.


    “Please,” she begged, “don’t hurt me.”


    His grin widened as he began to mock her. It was the last mistake he would ever make.



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  6. An attractive, thirty-something, tawny-haired blonde sat with elegant posture behind an anchor desk backed by a green-screen video presentation. Reading from the teleprompter with little emotion, she reported on a series of shootings and assaults as if she were directing a lost traveler.

    The incidents occurred in the little town just south of Hanna’s home in Chase—just a mere ten-minute drive. Anymore, Hanna thought these attacks too commonplace. The late-night news anchor stated that the authorities knew the shootings to be part of a turf war between rival gangs, one of which being El Calle—a particularly brutal ring.


    The name caught Hanna’s attention. She recalled the conversation with Detective Sosa and his mention of El Calle, the gang he believed involved in the attack on her family. Hanna watched the video with renewed interest, finishing her milk as she peered at the TV. 


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  7. Minutes became hours as time slipped away, turning a quick shakedown cruise into something more medicinal. The sun had set and a cold house greeted Hanna when she arrived back home Friday evening. Indian summer had lasted straight through September into October, but now autumn was closing in, and the evening had a bite to it.

    Hanna fired up the furnace for the first time since last winter and caught the smell of new-heat drifting from the vents. Rubbing her arms to ward off the chill, she made her way to the kitchen, layered a bed of lettuce on a Kaiser roll, and piled on several slices of domestic ham. Avoiding the mayo, she topped it with a huge meaty slice of blood-red autumn tomato. Pouring a glass of milk, she settled in at the kitchen table before tuning in FOX45 News at Ten.

      

      


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  8.   
    EXCERPT:

    Hanna had pondered time and again the odd experience that befell her the night her father died. Her recollection was spotty, but she remembered enough to know it was not a dream. It was something else. Something abnormal. Something that bordered on the supernatural, or possibly the Divine. That Cole’s image appeared in her mind just before she lost consciousness was the one segment of the experience that remained crystal clear, and although its purpose was unknown to her, she could not deny the message.

    Sometimes, when one begs a sign from God, He answers

    ***

      

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  9. Hanna picked up the Chevelle from the performance shop 6 a.m. Friday morning; its repairs complete. She took the car out on the highway for a quick shakedown, motoring north on I-95 towards the Delaware state line.
          
    The October sun rose in the crisp morning sky, and Hanna took a moment to admire the tapestry of autumn—the reds and the burgundies, the yellows and the browns—oils on a pristine blue canvas; and regardless of her disagreements and occasional anger with Him, when in the presence of simple miracles such as this, she realized how underappreciated God really was. 

    That He had given her a sign the day her father died was undeniable. Her task now, was to interpret His meaning. 

    The newly rebuilt 454 Corvette motor ushered the Chevelle along without effort, its throaty exhaust droned with precise monotony, and as the countryside ambled past, Hanna became lost in thought.

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  10. ​Outrunning the State Police chase-car two months earlier had forced Hanna to reengage the Chevelle’s nitrous system exceeding the limits of the engine, but doing so did not damage the Chevelle’s motor as much as she had thought. All that smoke from burning oil left a thin film on the interior, much like sweat on human skin, and as such, the odor made it seem much worse than it really was. A thorough detailing removed the film and the odor, and left the black leather interior with that new-car smell. Beyond that, all it took to put the Chevelle’s power plant back together was a new set of pistons and rings, a new motor mount, some new gaskets, and a bit of precision machining. As ironic as it seemed, it was good fortune the Chevelle was in the speed shop the day of the gang drive-by, for its absence in the garage prevented its destruction.
      
      


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  11.    
    Flashes of her harrowing escape from the Maryland State Trooper transitioned to those of her elders and their bullet-riddled bodies. Her thoughts harden to laser focus on the street filth that murdered her father and relegated her aunt to an assisted living center, and beyond that, the anemic police force that did little more than regurgitate dogmatic bullshit extoling criminal rights. They knew the street gang, they knew the killers, and they did nothing. Even with Hanna’s eyewitness identification, the police did not arrest them. Nor would the State’s Attorney convene a Grand Jury to indict them, and to Hanna’s reckoning, both for the same reason.

    The system was corrupt.
      
    But Hanna knew the killers too: The earless one and the scar-face one. They come to her in nightmares.

    ***
      

      
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Kudos for Chain of Evidence

​​Author D. B. Corey's debut novel, "Chain Of Evidence,” reveals a remarkable talent for the suspense/thriller genre of mystery fiction. Readers will appreciate the deftly crafted characters vividly embedded the high-action storyline laced with surprise twists and turns. Appreciative readers will look eagerly toward Corey's next literary effort! Appropriate for community library collections, "Chain of Evidence" is a highly recommended and thoroughly entertaining read.
Midwest Book Review 

Chain of Evidence, by D.B. Corey, is a debut mystery novel that will intrigue the reader from the first chapter. ... I found the book to be a well-written and interesting psychological study of both criminals and the persons attempting to hold them accountable. The 'Chain of Evidence' does ... lead the reader ... to logical conclusions.