Linden took the book. “A yearbook?”
“Yeah. It was published after I uh… left, but my sister saved it for me and I kept it.” He leaned close as Linden opened the yearbook and leafed through the pages. “That’s Jeremy.” Tyler pointed to a group photograph. “And that’s Dimas.”
“But you told me Dimas and Julius didn’t know each other in high school. This picture says otherwise.”
“I was in prison when this was taken. Honestly, I’ve never looked at this until now. My sister insisted I keep it because I might want it someday.”
Linden smirked. “I like your sister. This picture was taken in front of a store. What can you tell me about it and the others in the picture?”
“That’s a video-game-slash-comic-book store near the school. A few times a year they sponsored this sort of contest for groups to create role-playing games.” Tyler tapped the page. “The owners were a couple about my age, not too long out of college, and she was a relative—cousin, I think. Not a student.”
“Why would she have a picture taken with them?”
“I’d been working with the store and their contest to sponsor a similar thing for the students, using Sherlock Holmes mysteries. My thought was it could be a way to get them interested in literature,” Tyler explained. “Those kids were poor, not stupid, and I needed ways to engage them in getting an education that went beyond books.” There was another photograph beside it with Tyler, Jeremy, and Julius holding up a banner urging students to enter a contest. “That one was taken the day before I was arrested.”
“That’s pretty clever. If I’d had a teacher do that, I might have taken more of an interest in reading the classics. Did the program ever get off the ground?”
Tyler shrugged. “No idea. I never had much of a chance. But from this photo in the yearbook, it looks like it might’ve.”
“So, two of the four people in this photo are dead, one is confirmed missing, and no ID yet on the girl.” Linden sat back and studied the book. “Maybe someone is taking this game and the competition a little too seriously. I’ll add it to my list of things to look into.”
“Maybe I’m a little more freaked out than I thought, but do you think I could be a target too?”
Linden looked directly at Tyler for a few seconds then glanced away. “Maybe when we can get out of here, you should come back to Arizona with me.”
“Do you think whoever is killing these men might come after me too?” Tyler pressed.
“I think being out here in such a remote area might not be the smartest course of action right now.” Linden paused, sighed, and ran his fingers over the yearbook page. “I think there’s more going on here. Like I said before, voluntarily or not, you’re involved in these murders.”
Tyler turned away and swallowed hard. “Maybe you could use me to trap the killer?”
“I don’t think—”
They both flinched when there was a loud clunk and the power went out.
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