The lush greens of Legacy Ridge sit at the base of the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, N.C. Its characters reside in a world so utopian few outsiders have — or ever will be — admitted. And that is exactly how its members wish to keep it.
Welcome to the world of elite country clubs — where golf is king and you’re only as worthy as the size of your wallet or the number of your handicap. If the question so often asked by a million country club wives: “Do you really have to play golf today?” resides anywhere, it’s within the pages of R. Bruce Walker’s “Hanging Lies.”
So uncanny is the resemblance between Legacy Ridge and the very community Walker lives in himself, a cul-de-sac at Ford Plantation, a reader might easily believe that “Hanging Lies” was set right here in the Coastal Empire — its characters, for better or worse, their very own next door neighbors.
“Of course, any resemblance living or dead is purely coincidental,” said Walker. “When you live in communities like this, it’s the funniest thing — you’ve got a whole lot of people, very similar in age and stage, and a lot of them happen to be the most striving, strenuous capitalist achievers of American society. On the other side of that equation, they’ve decided to live in a collective, so you’ve got a wonderful collection of very strong personalities that have never had to compromise a single thing in their lives.”
There’s likely no one who understands this better than Walker himself. A golfer of 35 years, a writer for as long as he can remember, the “Hanging Lies” author arrived at Ford Plantation with his wife from Williamsburg, Va. — a location of the country as much known for its perfectly manicured greens as it is for its colonial history. The common denominator it seems is exclusivity and it’s as much a factor in Williamsburg as it is at Ford Plantation.
“Hanging Lies” follows newcomer and youngster Billy Prentice: a renegade golfer with all the talent in the world minus the tutelage of an expensive teacher. When he arrives at Legacy Ridge to begin his summer job as an assistant pro, his presence forces decades-old tension to the surface as head golf pro Peter Strickland and longtime member Clayton Palmer Bennet butt heads over the woman who once stole both their hearts.
“The reason I use golf, is that golf is very neat,” Walker said. “There are lots of rules, lots of structure. So there’s this very orderly world, but then there’s the way that people behave — and people don’t always behave by the rules. I hope that even people who don’t play golf will still understand that I’m using the game as a backdrop to a very structured morality. These characters have dedicated their lives to playing a game by the rules, and yet when you put them in the game of life, somehow the rules don’t apply anymore.”
“Hanging Lies” come after Walker’s previous novels “Jester’s Dance” and “The Last Canary,” both of which were successful in their own right, but with “Jester’s Dance” making an appearance in the Kindle Top 100.
And while the author is now enjoying a much-deserved rest since the June 1 release of “Hanging Lies,” he hasn’t stopped yet. Walker’s fourth book is already in progress. Look for “Hanging Lies,” “Jester’s Dance” and “The Last Canary” on Amazon.com or other leading online book sellers.