Music to Die By

Rated 4.00/5 based on 2 reviews
A singer in Tokyo’s scuzzy indie rock scene, Shanti buried her past long ago. But when childhood friend Ned turns up in the audience at one of her band’s shows, he threatens to reveal the dark secret he and Shanti share. A botched cover-up leads to murder and a tightening web of deception. Ultimately, to defeat her past, Shanti will have to confront it… and Ned… before someone else dies. More

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About Felicity Savage

Felicity Savage is an American fantasy author. Born in South Carolina, Savage lived until the age of two in rural France, and then in the west of Ireland. At six, she moved with her family to the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, where she joined the Girl Guides and appeared in productions of Robin Hood and Peter Pan at the RAF base on Benbecula. Her first novel, Humility Garden, and its sequel Delta City were published by Penguin ROC in 1994 and 1995, while she was still at Columbia University. Her Ever trilogy was published by HarperCollins in 1995, 1996, and 1997. Savage was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1995 and 1996. She currently lives in Tokyo, Japan, with her husband and two cats. When not writing, she works as a Japanese translator, sings Gregorian chant, and moonlights as a serial houseplant killer.

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Review by: Banty Hen Publishing on Dec. 28, 2011 :
Still waters run dark and deep...

On the surface, Shanti Hazard has a promising career as the lead singer in the indie band Gorot. A globe-trotting free spirit (raised in Ireland and France, yet settling down in Japan), she and her bandmates are making an all-out attempt to carve out a name on the Japanese rock band circuit.

All that's cut short when a man she's known during her troubled childhood appears during one of her shows. One who knows of the horrific secret that she and her brother Alastair tried to bury deep.

But not all secrets are *meant* to stay buried.

Author Rose Nanashima gives us a cool, noir-esque look into Japan's underground music scene. She's also got a keen eye for detail and a real understanding of punk/grunge rock. Though languidly paced, the plot twists ever tighter as Shanti's nemesis manages to slip inside of her circle of friends. Definitely worth a read if you're into pot-boiler style suspense with an international twist.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
Review by: Twisted Root Publishing on Oct. 17, 2011 :
Rose Nanashima takes readers into the dark, unrelenting underbelly of Japan's Indie-music scene in this novel of old wrong and how they come back to haunt us. Try skimming the surface of this novel and the dark things that live at the bottom rise up to get you.

Shanti is a wandering soul who ha grown up in various countries abroad and has lived in Japan the past sundry years surviving on her wages as an English teacher while 'living' as an indie rock singer. Her world changes dramatically when a man from her childhood shows up and begins to follow her. Worse, he insinutates his way into her group of friends.

From there the situation spirals down. We know that something awful happened years ago between this man, Shanti and Shanti's brother. We also know that something bad is going to happen again -- and it does.

Unfortunately for this reader, this detracted from my sympathy for Shanti, and made me feel like screaming at other characters to run away before things got worse and she dragged them down with her. On the upside, the author did a fantastic job of of evoking the aimless existence of a segment of Japanese culture I wasn't aware of. It gave me a new view of Japanese youth living in the wild, international world of music, but still trapped within the strictures of Japanese society.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
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