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A Thin line
A Thin line
A Thin line
Ebook246 pages2 hours

A Thin line

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About this ebook

John Corbin has been investigating, catching, and convicting murderers, rapists, and pedophiles for twenty years as a Seattle detective. But lately, someone has been beating him to the punch and eliminating these vile criminals before he can apprehend them. John is learning that there is a thin line between innocent or guilty, good or evil, alive or dead. By definition, a thin line is a very narrow division between two alternatives. Some being exact opposites, while others are separated by the narrowest of threads. This novel follows this definition to the letter. In life, many situations aren't just black or white. There is usually a modicum of grey to fill in the space. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who is good? Who is evil? Perhaps everyone at one time or another lies somewhere in the middle.... A Thin Line is a tale that will immediately draw you in and keep you guessing. A suspenseful psychological thriller with twists and turns that will toy with your mind and emotions, driven by a chilling narrative that builds the tension right up until its explosive conclusion.

PublisherDavid Boiani
Release dateFeb 18, 2016
A Thin line
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David Boiani

David Boiani is an American author living in Coventry, RI. He writes Psychological thrillers mixed with a touch of horror. He recently released a collection of short stories called Dark Musings. He is currently writing The Redemption, the sequel to his debut novel, A Thin Line. Visit his website here...http://www.authordavidboiani.com

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    A Thin line - David Boiani



    The Seattle sky was grey and dark, the air damp and cool with a piercing, driving mist. As John Corbin approached the front door of 36 Chestnut Hill Drive, he wondered if his wife Julie was right in wanting to move the family south, down the coast to San Diego. It is almost impossible to adapt to this dreary weather,  he thought as he pushed the door open to enter what was sure to be another in a long line of gruesome sights. The pungent smell of a corpse hit him in the face as he walked in. To John, the smell of decaying human flesh reminded him of the sickening sweet scent of rotting beef combined with the tangy aroma of decaying fruit: a sweet yet tart, heavy odor, which somehow doesn’t smell natural to the human nose. A scent which seeps into the fibers of his hair and clothes, then comes out when he sits down to eat lunch and makes him so nauseous that he is unable to take even one bite. So goes the inconvenience of the business we are in, he has reasoned often.

    He met Todd McGrath, his partner, in the foyer. What have we got, Todd?

    It's bad. Corpse, male, thirtyish, mutilation. The forensic investigator states that rigor mortis is setting in.

    Do we have an identity?

    Not yet, working on it, Todd replied. An officer walked up with a wallet in a plastic bag.

    His name is Robert Jacobs, owns the house. Divorced, age 37, he has two children who live with their mother.

    Okay, let’s take a look at the body.

    Follow me, Todd said. They walked into the dining room. The corpse of Robert Jacobs sat propped in a chair at the head of the table. Blood had run down his face from his eye sockets. Blisters that had formed over red blemishes covered the nude body.

    Looks like burns. I think he was tortured, Todd said.

    Blood pooled at the crotch, which had dripped onto the floor. Where the testicles should have been, there was a gruesome mix of chunks of flesh, torn skin and dried blood. The mouth was stuffed full with a mass of flesh, blood and pus, which had trickled down his face from a punctured blister. He could make out a collapsed eyeball and what looked like a tightly woven ball of angel hair pasta that he was sure was one of the extracted testicles from the scrotum sack, inserted violently into the victim's mouth. John got up and walked into the kitchen where Todd was conversing with two uniformed officers. Any prints or hair? John asked.

    Nothing yet, Todd said.

    Okay let’s get forensics to sweep the place and have the body taken to the morgue, John said. The partners moved into the kitchen to continue their investigation. John started a normal conversation to lighten the mood. How was your date last night?

    I can’t seem to figure her out, John. I really like her, I think that she likes me, but through two dates we haven’t touched.

    Find her key, Todd


    Her key. John dropped some papers he had been inspecting on the kitchen counter and said, Every woman is a special, individual entity. Each requires a different technique to unlock her mind, body and heart. You, as a man, need to figure out how.

    Just how the hell do I do that? I don’t even know if she’s into me, Todd said while inspecting and bagging dirty dishes that were left in the sink.

    She likes you or she wouldn’t be dating you. Have confidence my friend. Analyze her like you would a crime scene: extract everything about her that you know. Think about what she expects, what she is used to and do the opposite. Women do not like to be bored. Keeping them off balance and surprising them can be exciting, even magical, in a very primal sort of way. What is she like?

    As the men moved into the bedroom to continue searching for evidence Todd said, She’s a family girl, good upbringing. Dresses conservatively, with an underlying touch of sexiness.

    What is her name and occupation?

    Jacqueline Nash, she is a forensic analyst. I met her on the job.

    "Alright. My guess is that she has quite a bit of raw passion

    hidden behind her conservative, structured, outer shell. She is probably used to cold analysis and an organized, antiseptic lifestyle. You need to show her something different. Open up to her. Introduce her to your warmth and emotion. Break through her external shell. Show her a world of adventure and passion. Make her feel alive. I think that she will be overwhelmed with intrigue and expectation. Take her away for a weekend to a bed and breakfast in the mountains. Go zip lining. Explore nature. Go dancing at night. Show her that you are not afraid to take chances. Lead her to experiences she would never expect. She is ready to break out of her shell and you, my friend, are just the man to break her out."

    Todd, grasping and digesting the conversation, said, You know, that is exactly what I am going to do.

    Good luck, John said.

    As the partners walked out into the fresh Seattle air, officers passed them carrying the bagged corpse. Todd looked John in the eyes and said, John, this one is as gruesome as I’ve ever seen.

    John then made his way to his truck thinking about the expression he had seen in Todd’s eyes. As he put the key in the ignition, it came to him...the look in Todd’s eyes was fear.



    He awoke in that tranquil, peaceful zone between consciousness and slumber that comes in abundance when we are children, but seems to occur increasingly less as we age. He woke alone, as was usually the case on his off days since his wife, Julie leaves for the hospital at five a.m. John stopped in the bathroom, splashed cold water on his face and proceeded to relieve himself from the build-up of urine that seven hours of uninterrupted sleep seems to create. Before heading downstairs, he glanced in the mirror. Though the years had started to show slightly, John was still a handsome man. His youthful, baby face looked back at him as he ran his fingers through his disheveled light brown hair, forcing it straight back. His immense dimples flashed through the two day build up of stubble, creating quite a contrast. He then made his way downstairs to the kitchen while bellowing, Gianna, Ryann, to wake his children.

    Ten minutes later, an eight-year-old girl with creamy smooth skin, a head of shiny brown hair and deep brown eyes that resembled Belgian chocolate, came rumbling down the stairs. Soon after, a six year old boy jumped down two stairs at a time, tumbling at the bottom in a heap, laughing all the way. Little bundles of energy. John wondered where that pure, uninterrupted exuberance of youth goes later in life. When young, all people think about is the current moment and the adventure it may bring. As we age and our lives become hindered and complicated by layers of shit, all we ponder is our next responsibility to be taken care of. Replace enough adventure with responsibility and our lives become stagnant, even boring. Life resembles a roller coaster ride. The early years seem to last forever as the coaster takes that long crawl up the continuous, unceasing hill. Once past the pinnacle, it seems to pick up speed effortlessly, each year fleeting by twice as fast as the last, careening toward the end of the ride and unavoidable death. There are minor curves and hills along the way, but nothing compares to that first, long, steep hill that is youth.

    As John flipped the pancakes onto plates, he caught the bright, sparkling, expectant eyes of his offspring, which brought a rare smile to his lips. Enjoy. Milk or OJ?

    Dad, you know it’s always milk with pancakes.

    You are right, milk it is, always with pancakes. Thirty minutes later, as John walked his children to the school bus stop, he received a text message from Todd:

    Call when you can. I have some new info on our deceased.

    After kissing his children and seeing them safely on the bus, John dialed Todd McGrath’s number. What’s up? he asked when Todd picked up.

    I talked to Jacob’s ex-wife. Evidently there was an excellent reason why she filed for divorce. She claims Mr. Jacobs was a pedophile. Even worse, she claims he raped his own children.



    Silas Alvah sat nude in an empty room in the back of his house, where he usually went for his spiritual cleansing. He dug the tip of the knife into his testicle, not enough to rupture it, but more than enough to draw blood. He yearned for the pain. It was the only feeling or emotion that he could relate to. Pain was a faithful friend. Pain was always present, lurking just under the surface. To the world, Silas would be considered a monster. To himself, Silas was a shepherd. He felt he was setting his victims’ souls free. Free from the minutiae of everyday life. Free from the boredom of monotonous, minor everyday problems that people stress over. Silas enjoyed feeling a soul leave the body and travel straight through him into the sky, dissolving into a million particles and finally into the atmosphere to be rained down onto the Earth once again, maybe next time as a tree, or a fly, something better than the horrible life that humans must live. As Silas wiped up the blood on his fingertip and brought it to his mouth to drink it down, he had that deep instinctual feeling that it was time. Time for the hunt. Time to send the blind sheep home.



    Todd downloaded the case file as the partners were on the way to another crime scene. He read aloud: James Corell, 48, single, never married, no children. Occupation: librarian, modest earnings. No siblings, parents both deceased.

    As they pulled up to 76 Franklin Street, the sun started to peer out from behind the thinning clouds. The house was a small ranch, dreary, in need of some maintenance. The white paint was peeling in spots and the shrubs were overgrown and shabby. While walking up to the door, a uniformed officer said, He's in the bedroom. We haven't searched or touched the premises, pure as a virgin’s hole for you.

    Thank you, we will take over from here, John said.

    Entering the dreary abode, he noticed Todd pause for just an instant and take a deep breath before continuing into the house. The living room was fairly empty. It contained an old black leather couch and an aged television on a simple stand. The white ceiling was defiled with a few dark, old water stains and the green carpet was old and ragged. There was a repulsive combination of odors: rot, mildew, sweat and semen. An officer handed them both odor blocking masks. You might want to put these on before you enter the bedroom. We think he has been here like this for over a week. We received welfare calls from the mailman and a concerned neighbor.

    Masks positioned, they entered the hallway and slowly opened the door on the left leading into the bedroom. Both men paused in the doorway to take in the surroundings. On the bed lay the corpse of a middle aged man. The smell, although filtered by the masks, was pungent and staggering. Around the bed, three walls of the room were encased with bookcases, from floor to ceiling. In the middle of the room was a severed penis, strung with a cord through the base, head pointing down, hanging from the ceiling. Blood had pooled at the groin and under the head of the body, which was face down on the bed. Grey matter spilled onto either side of the pillow as the back of the skull was gone. Trauma to the back of the head, bat or club of some sort, Todd said.

    Call in forensics for a sweep. Bag and tag the body, John said. As John took one last look around the room, his mind focused on the books and all of the dates, places, people and stories that they contained. Glancing at the body, specifically the head and pieces of brain and skull spilling out, he thought: That brain and skull at one time contained all of that information now gone. Gone forever. Such is death. After quickly glancing over the kitchen and finding nothing of interest, they headed down the stairs, leading to the basement. At the bottom, Todd hesitated. My God, he blurted. Ahead of them was what looked like a slaughterhouse. Butcher’s tools of every kind were hung on the back wall. Knives, axes, bone saws and cleavers of every shape and size displayed in an orderly fashion like surgical tools above a workbench covered with dark stains. Behind the stairs was a door leading to what looked like a small, separate room. John walked over to the door and slowly opened it. The room was dark so John quickly ran his flashlight over the area. To the left of the doorway, he saw a floorlamp which he turned on. There was what looked to be a clothesline running from one end of the room to the other. Fans were lined up and down the room. As Todd looked at what was hanging from the line he made a small gagging noise. What...? Are they...vaginas?

    Yes, said John. Carved out of women's bodies and hung here to dry like leather.

    But, why? Todd gasped.

    My guess is they are trophies. These are women that he must have raped and murdered. These are trophies for him to remember them by. His prized possessions. We need to check DNA from the forensic reports. Search the database for any deceased mutilated women’s corpses missing the vagina.

    Walking outside to the car Todd looked at

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