Hold Me Down

Hold Me Down

Out now!

This riveting work of dark suspense from acclaimed author Clea Simon opens with Gal, a rock star for a hot minute twenty years earlier, back in Boston to play a memorial for her late drummer/best friend when she finds herself freezing on stage at the sight of a face in the crowd. The next day, the middle-aged musician learns that the man she saw has been killed – beaten to death behind the venue – and her friend’s widower charged in connection with his death. When the friend refuses to defend himself, Gal wonders why and, as the memories begin to flood back, she starts her own informal investigation. As she does so, she must reexamine her own wild life, her perception of the past, and an industry that monetizes dysfunction in a dark tale of love, music, and murder.

HOLD ME DOWN is a standalone novel of suspense, set in the basement clubs and dark back rooms behind the stage lights of rock and roll stardom. Like 2017's Massachusetts Book Awards "must read" World Enough, HOLD ME DOWN deals with love in all its forms, community, and rock and roll from a strong, if damaged female perspective.

"Provocative, moving, and suspenseful. Don't miss it."–New York Times bestselling author of Last Girl Ghosted Lisa Unger

"Simon perceptively illustrates the sacrifices one makes for art. Simon’s tour of the Boston music scene will make readers wish “Hold Me Down” included a link to iTunes." ―Oline Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel

"A mystery that explores character motivations ... For fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Janet Evanovich." Library Journal


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"Hold Me Down is terrific. Its power lies in the vitality of Clea Simon’s prose and her insider savvy. ...when Gal straps on her bass, the instrument heavy and slung low across her hips. There’s enough sex and visceral longing in that posture to match any male rock and roll fantasy." – Arts Fuse
"Simon's pacing in this crime thriller offers more than plot and character: She reincarnates the demanding sexuality of the rock underground with the costs of fame and addiction. Page by page, scene by traumatic scene. ...Anyone who's dreamed of the power of being a rock performer will get double the emotional kick from this raw and compelling suspense novel. Simon's particular genius in HOLD ME DOWN is shining her light into the world of tough, struggling, and brilliant women." – Kingdom Books
"Like the dark and twisting melody of a forgotten song stuck in your head, HOLD ME DOWN is lyrical, layered, and full of surprises. Simon has penned a raw and emotional thriller with a heartbeat, about lost dreams and missing friends, regrets and buried memories, the final note reminding us that it's never too late to start again. Provocative, moving, and suspenseful. Don't miss it." – Lisa Unger, New York Times-bestselling author of Last Girl Ghosted
“A flat-out, stoked-up, red-alert blistering justice-gets-done story that you can’t put down.” – E. Jean Carroll, author of What Do We Need Men For?
“Gripping and intense, HOLD ME DOWN is a darkly suspenseful dive into friendship, fame, murder, and the thrilling power of rock music. I couldn’t put it down.” —Meg Gardiner, author of the UNSUB series
"The big mystery in this exquisite novel is not the one in the story but the one in the way Clea Simon tells it. We hear music that never existed, pine for memories we couldn't have, and mourn for the survivors. How did she do it? Simon is a wizard." – David Hajdu, author of Lush Life and Positively 4th Street
“No one understands the music scene like Clea Simon! This pitch-perfectly dark psychological suspense underscores the price of fame, the price of friendship, and the temptations of success. One brave former rock star decides to risk everything to solve a murder--and finally faces her past and her future. Sharp and insightful, and written with exquisite detail, this story has a soundtrack that will linger long after the final page.” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today-bestselling author of Her Perfect Life
“HOLD ME DOWN is a joyous novel about friendship and survival, but what dark, bitter joy. Simon has gone deep into a world many women know all too well, where pride, guilt and pain do battle inside the stories we tell. A cracking plot in a rich setting round out this important, timely book to perfection.” – Catriona McPherson, Edgar-shortlisted author of A Gingerbread House.
“HOLD ME DOWN is powerfully written and compulsively readable. Part murder mystery and part wistful history of a one-time rock star and her deeply buried secrets.”¬ Dave Zeltserman, award-winning author of over 20 crime, thriller, and horror novels, including Small Crimes, now a Netflix film
“A hard-rocking riff of a novel, HOLD ME DOWN explodes with a passion for music while also probing the intimate betrayals buried under a haze of alcohol and pills. Simon tells her story from the perspective of an aging female star trying to understand where it all went wrong, expertly exploring how music seeks to embody truth, even when musicians hid their own pain behind the melodies.” – Joanna Schaffhausen, winner of the 2016 MWA/St. Martin's Minotaur first crime novel award for The Vanishing Season
“Clea Simon’s devastatingly powerful mystery hits you like a punch in the heart. About aging, regret, and women in rock and roll, it’s also about how no matter how hard you fight, some things are never behind you, and that survival doesn’t always look like what you think it does. Gripping, truthful and provocative.” – Caroline Leavitt, New York Times-bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is this Tomorrow
Other Book in "Psychological Suspense"
Series: Psychological Suspense
Genre: Mystery
Tags: Boston, mystery, punk rock, rock and roll
Publisher: Polis Books
Publication Year: 2021
ISBN: 9781951709518