With Holding Lies, John Larison takes us deep into a thriving subculture of the Northwest, one born of ferns and firs, rain and hot-springs, salmon and whitewater. He takes us even deeper into the troubles of Hank Hazelton, a fifty-nine-year-old river guide, as he struggles to reconnect with his daughter after a long estrangement. Before his daughter’s arrival, Hank discovers a drift boat stranded below a rapid, its oarsman missing. Within days, the sheriff has opened a murder investigation, one that to Hank appears more about old grudges than objective evidence. When Hank himself becomes a suspect, he’s forced to confront the violent past of his home valley—and his own culpability. In a novel about finding family in unlikely places, Larison breathes life into a community rich with history, sin, and hope, a place where bears still wander side streets and time is still marked by the seasons of the river. Holding Lies is a taut, big-hearted novel, steeped in the ecology of place and peopled with unforgettable characters.
John Larison is a river steward, guide, and teacher, and author of the novel Northwest of Normal, which was heralded by the Denver Post as “a first-rate contribution to the novels of the West.” He lives with his family in Corvallis, Oregon.