‘No probs,’ said Moss, amiably. ‘This isn’t a formal interview; we merely want information to help catch Andrea’s killer.’

‘I can give you the list of clubs where Andrea had memberships. I’ll talk to my secretary, get her to email them over,’ said Simon.

‘Linda, you work at a florists, yes?’ asked Peterson.

Linda looked him up and down approvingly, as if noticing him for the first time. ‘Yes. It’s my mother’s business. I’m assistant manager. Have you got a girlfriend?’

‘Um, no,’ said Peterson.

‘Pity,’ said Linda, unconvincingly. ‘We’ve got some lovely stuff coming in for Valentine’s Day.’

‘What about you, David?’ asked Peterson.

David had sunk down into the sofa, and he stared ahead vacantly with the neck of his jumper pulled up over his bottom lip. ‘I’m doing my MA,’ he said.

‘Where?’

‘Here in London, at UCL,’

‘And what are you studying?’

‘Architectural History.’

‘He’s always wanted to be an architect,’ said his mother proudly, putting her hand on his arm. He pulled it out from under her touch. For a moment, Diana looked like she might break down again.

‘When did you last see Andrea?’ asked Erika.

‘The afternoon before we were due to go out,’ said David.

‘Did you go out with Andrea much in London?’

‘No. She was more Kardashian bling. I’m more into Shoreditch, y’know?’

‘You mean the bars and clubs in Shoreditch?’ asked Peterson. David nodded. Peterson added, ‘I live in Shoreditch. I got a mortgage just before the property prices went mad.’

Linda regarded Peterson, as if he were a cream cake waiting to be devoured.

David went on, ‘Yeah. When I finally get access to my trust fund, I’m buying my own place in Shoreditch.’

‘David,’ warned his father.

‘Well, I am. He asked me a question and I answered.’

There was an almost imperceptible shift in the room. A look passed between Simon and Diana, and then there was silence.

‘So, Linda, you are a florist, and David is studying. What did Andrea do?’ asked Moss.

‘Andrea was engaged to be married,’ said Linda, her voice heavy with irony.

‘Enough!’ roared Simon. ‘I will not have you two talking like this, filling the room with this horrible atmosphere. Andrea is dead. Brutally murdered! And here you are taking pot shots at her!’

‘It wasn’t me, it was Linda,’ said David.

‘Oh yes, it’s always me. Always Linda . . .’

Their father ignored them. ‘Andrea was a beautiful girl. But not only that, she lit up a room when she walked in. She was beautiful, and vulnerable and . . . and . . . a light has gone out in our lives.’

The atmosphere in the room changed. The family seemed to shift on their chairs to move into each other and become a unit.

‘What can you tell us about Andrea’s friend, Barbora Kardosova?’ asked Erika.

‘I think she was the closest Andrea ever had to a best friend,’ said Diana. ‘She even came on holiday with us. They were so close for a time, and then she just vanished. Andrea said Barbora just moved away.’

‘Do you know where she went?’

‘No. She didn’t leave a forwarding address; didn’t answer any of Andrea’s emails,’ said Diana.

‘Do you think that’s odd?’

‘Of course it was odd. I think she came from a broken home, though. Her mother was unwell. Then of course, people inevitably have a habit of letting you down . . .’

‘Did they have a falling out?’

‘It’s possible, but Andrea was – well, she wouldn’t lie about things like that. She’d have told us. Andrea thinks – thought – that Barbora had become jealous of her.’

‘Andrea’s phone records only go back to June 2014,’ said Erika.

‘Yes, she lost her other phone. She’d had it since she was thirteen or fourteen,’ said Simon.

‘And you replaced it for her?’

‘Yes.’

‘Have you got the number for the old phone?’

‘Why would you need that?’

‘It’s just routine.’

‘Is it? I would have thought having eight months of phone records would suffice . . .’ They could see that Simon was starting to grow uncomfortable.

‘Did Andrea have a second phone?’

***

***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com

***