Tasha's disappearance leaves many in the town confused and partly empty.
Her schoolmates envied her because she was the star of her swimming team. Her teachers admired her academic talents. Too many men of too many ages looked at her with lust and desire. Preston McCabe, a rancher and the wealthiest man in town, is driven to suicide. Preston's wife is fully aware of her husband's sexual inclinations toward young girls; she was one of them. She is a lonely, unsocial woman. The ghost of Preston's mother, whose suicide decades ago remains a mystery, becomes her only companion. Tasha's stepfather is the subject of suspicions voiced by the town's gossips that he killed her out on the mesa. Tasha planted some of the seeds for these suspicions long before she disappeared. Her high school math teacher is terrified that the town will suspect that he has been sexually abusing her. He is new in town, forced to leave a larger school in the Midwest because of rumors of involvement with his female students.
There are too many suspects and too few clues. The town has too many morally uncertain people for anyone to be certain that one or more of them didn't do something awful to Tasha Blue.