Chase is the golden boy of the town, a star quarterback, and the antagonist of the novel. At the beginning of the investigation, his death is framed as a loss to a town that loved him. However, his lauded façade slips as the investigation progresses, and rumors of his infidelity and misdeeds make it clear that many people in town may have had motive for wanting him dead. When he gets closer to Kya, it’s clear that Chase is arrogant, self-absorbed, entitled, and not used to being told no. From their first interaction, Chase tries to take from Kya, moving too fast sexually and frightening her. Instead of viewing Kya as a person, he sees her as a rare possession that he’s determined to have for himself. Throughout their relationship, Chase devolves further and further into his obsession with Kya, refusing to accept her rejection of him and determined to possess her in the manner of a collector. In this way, Chase reflects a society that is uninterested in the beauty and intricacies of nature. He drives his loud expensive boat through the waters, doesn’t understand Kya’s collection of natural specimens, and lauds the domesticated and dominated lands that Kya thinks are an abomination. Chase dies because he constantly underestimates Kya, cannot see how clever and powerful she can be, and relentlessly tries to assert dominion over her life and body.