in the grip of

in the grip of something

controlled by something The country was in the grip of a continuing and deep depression. She sways and stomps and even cries when she's in the grip of her music-making.
See also: grip, of
References in classic literature ?
All of which came to pass; and the boat, in the grip of the current, like a river steamer with smoke rising from the two joints of stove-pipe, grounded on shoals, hung up on split currents, and charged rapids and canyons, as it drove deeper into the Northland winter.
At sound of this, the cry of Life plunging down from Life's apex in the grip of Death, the fall pack at Buck's heels raised a hell's chorus of delight.
AS we exclusively revealed in yesterday's paper, Scotland is in the grip of a soaring crime wave as the credit crunch really begins to bite.