Byrne sat in his van. On the way to Chestnut Hill he had planned it all out: how he would present himself, how he would talk to Christa-Marie, how he would get the information he needed from her. He would walk in, the veteran investigator, Mr. Cool, Master of the Universe, and walk out with what he needed.
He had failed miserably.
He was leaving without one shred of information. He wondered what his next move would be. He could talk to Michael Drummond or Paul DiCarlo in the DA's office. They, in turn, would get in touch with Benjamin Curtin, and the request would be made to have Christa- Marie come into the city for a formal statement.
Byrne could all but see the attendant circus.
As soon as he started the van he saw Adele Hancock crossing the wide driveway. Byrne lowered his window as she approached.
'She wanted you to have this.'
Adele Hancock handed him a sealed CD. The cover photo was a picture of Christa-Marie at a cafe in Italy. Behind her was the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.
'She told me to tell you that if you want to know her, you should listen to this.'
'What do you think she means by that?'
Hancock offered a thin smile. 'If you have a few years to spare, I could probably scratch the surface of that question for you.'
Fifteen minutes later Byrne found himself on the expressway. He couldn't head back to the city. Not yet. He had another stop to make.
Inside his head the urges combusted. One urge told him what he had to do, what he should do. The other told him what he ultimately would do.
Heading west, he opened the CD and pushed it into the player. In moments his world was filled with the soaring majesty of Christa- Marie Schönburg's cello.