The river and the steelhead trout are Hank Hazelton’s life, and he’s been a guide taking clients into the beauty of the northwest to fish in the river’s waters. It may seem like a simple life based on the flow of water and the return of the fish, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Hank’s estranged daughter is coming for a visit and he hasn’t seen her since she was seventeen, and now she is grown with a career and a husband. Though he is happy about their possible reunion he can’t help feeling like something has happened to cause this sudden visit.
Just before his daughter’s arrival, a young hotshot guide dies suspiciously on the river, and the sheriff thinks its murder. Hank has had his own run in with the dead guide but he isn’t the only one. The guides, both young and old, have knowledge about the river and the fish that are meant to be kept secret and the dead man violated that simple rule of trust.
Holding Lies: A Novel by John Larison is a subtle story filled with lush descriptions of the river and an even more vivid depiction of Hank. With his daughter’s return he has one last chance to mend their damaged relationship while at the same time he must also face his own guilt and memories. This is an insightful novel with an unforgettable character.