Taroko Gorge : A disillusioned and raggedy American reporter and his drunken photojournalist partner are the last to see three Japanese schoolgirls who disappear into Taroko Gorge, Taiwan's largest national park. The journalists who are themselves suspects investigate the disappearance along with the girls' homeroom teacher, their bickering classmates, and a seasoned and wary Taiwanese detective. The conflicts between them complicated by the outrageousness of the photographer and the raging hormones of the young raise questions of personal responsibility, truthfulness, and guarded self-interest. The world and its dangers both natural and interpersonal are real, changing, and violently pressing. And the emotions that churn in dark rooms overnight as the players gather in the park visitors center are as intense as in any closet drama. There's enough action and furor here to keep readers turning the pages, and the cultural revelations of the story suggest that the human need for mystery outweighs the desire for answers.