By Charles Maclean
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Her killer was possibly in love with her, or considered himself to be in love. ’ 'Tenderness,’ I repeated calmly, though I was seething. Perhaps any father would have reacted as I did. 'Is that why he knocked her unconscious before he strangled her? Is that how it goes when you love someone, Commendatore? ’ I could hear my voice rising. Morelli pressed his palms together. He took a deep breath and went on, 'With this type of individual, when his attentions are rejected, love turns to violence very quickly.
She couldn’t help herself. Her hand shook a little. Please . . please God, don’t let it be Federico. 'Pronto’ 'Yes, hello … is this Sam? ’ She let out her breath in stages. It was a young voice, friendly sounding, American accent, no one she recognised – her prayers, disappointingly, had been answered. ’ 'I was given your number by a mutual acquaintance. Ed mentioned you were leaving town soon, and I wanted to talk to you about Sophie . ’ 'You knew her? Wait a minute. ’ He gave a deep, slightly theatrical sigh.
I could hear my voice rising. Morelli pressed his palms together. He took a deep breath and went on, 'With this type of individual, when his attentions are rejected, love turns to violence very quickly. ’ 'He may also have believed that your daughter returned his feelings. ’ This was all just guesswork. He really didn’t have a clue. ’ 'What are you saying? ’ I was glad that Laura wasn’t with me. She would have hit him. ’ He was watching me intently. ’ He shook his head. 'She may unwittingly have encouraged him.