“Simon’s evocative writing puts readers inside sweaty clubs,” says librarian Henrietta Verma, reviewing HOLD ME DOWN for First Clue Reviews. “For readers who enjoy dark stories and fans of music-themed mysteries.” (She names other high points, but does give a bit a of a spoiler.) See full review here (or below).Thank you!
A Deadly Reunion
Simon, Clea. Hold Me Down. October. 320p. Polis Books.Simon, prolific author of the Witch Cats of Cambridge series, here mines her past as a rock critic. The tale looks at former rockers visiting their own past when they reunite for a benefit after former bandmate Aimee dies. During the concert, Gal Raver, frontwoman of the band and of the book, sees a familiar face in the crowd. It’s TK, the band’s old roadie, who’s later found dead in an alleyway behind the club. Walter, Aimee’s husband, is charged with murdering TK and seems curiously apathetic when Gal tries to help him fight the accusation. Finding out what happened involves numerous murky flashbacks to Gal’s past as a messy, angry drug and alcohol addict, and her behavior and the battle for fleeting success give the book a feeling of darkness. Simon’s evocative writing puts readers inside sweaty clubs that stink of beer and vomit (so much vomit!), and reaches its first height when describing the moment the fledgling band finally gels onstage. The music fades in the last part of the novel, which explores hard truths and the differing ways they can be remembered, with Simon’s depiction of Gal’s slowly unfurling memories a second high point. Note that rape is described here in some detail. For readers who enjoy dark stories and fans of music-themed mysteries.—Henrietta Verma