When I first began blogging Victoria Godman was one of the first bloggers I met both virtually and in real life. Consequently it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome Victoria to stay in with me today in her new role as author!
Let’s find out more:
Staying in with Victoria Goldman
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Victoria, and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
I’m so happy to be here! I could talk about books for hours, as you know!
I do indeed! So, tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought along The Redeemer, my debut murder-mystery novel. It took me two-and-a-half years to write, and I finished writing it in May 2019. I’m excited that it will finally be out in the world and that I can share it with everyone!
Congratulations on The Redeemer. I’ve been hearing fabulous things about it from other bloggers. What can we expect from an evening in with The Redeemer?
The Redeemer is set in Hertfordshire, in a small town on the cusp of London suburbia. The town is based on where I live, with a thriving Jewish community. This book is a work of passion for me, highlighting antisemitism (anti-Jewish hate crimes) and Jewish culture and heritage, which are topics that haven’t featured in depth in contemporary crime fiction in the UK. I’ve not only written my book with ‘blood, sweat and tears’, but I’ve put my heart and soul into it too.
I know that’s a subject very close to your heart. I understand The Redeemer is the first in a series featuring Shanna Regan. Tell me more.
My main character is a journalist, Shanna Regan, who has returned to England after years on the road. She’s working on a local magazine, is finding it hard to settle down, and is desperate for a new adventure. After intervening in an antisemitic incident in the local park, and then uncovering a series of threatening fake commemorative plaques, Shanna hopes she’s found some excitement. She certainly gets more than she bargained for!
That sounds brilliant. What’s it like releasing your debut into the world?
I’ve been nervous about getting The Redeemer out into the world for lots of reasons, and am so relieved that it’s been well-received by early readers. Thriller author Adam Hamdy has called it ‘a tense, twisty crime thriller’, and crime author Sarah Hilary has called it ‘an astute, important and compelling read’. A recent Goodreads reviewer called it ‘Brilliant! Interesting! Intriguing! A fantastic tale that leads you not just by the hand but by your whole being into a shadow world’. Every time a new review comes in, I cry with relief!
With responses like that you must be thrilled Vicki. Congratulations.
What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?
I’ve brought some Thunder toffee vodka, as everyone knows I’m partial to this delicious (in my opinion) alcoholic drink. Shanna hasn’t tried any yet – but she does love vodka. So I may have to introduce her to it in the next book.
I haven’t tried it either as I’m not a big fan of vodka but did someone say toffee? Might just give it a go…
To soak up the alcohol, I’ve brought some challah, plaited loaves of bread that are traditionally eaten on the Jewish Sabbath, also called Shabbat (which lasts for 25 hours from Friday evening at sundown until Saturday evening at sundown). Two challahs are covered with a special cloth and dipped in salt. We also have a cup of wine.
I love guests who bring food. You can come again!
Finally, I’ve brought a photo of the crossroads and church that inspired the setting of The Redeemer, and also some of the plot, with a synagogue directly opposite the church. One of the questions I ask in The Redeemer is ‘Is it wrong to do a bad thing to a bad person for good reason?’ Hopefully I make readers think about revenge and redemption and the paths we choose in life, often via a decision-making crossroads.
Now you’ve intrigued me completely and I’m going to have to bump The Redeemer up my TBR. Thanks so much for staying in with me to chat about it Vicki. I hope to see you in real life again soon but until then, you pour us a toffee vodka and I’ll give a few more details to Linda’s Book Bag readers about The Redeemer.
‘REPENT BEFORE YOU DIE … OR MAY YOU NEVER R.I.P.’
Threatening plaques, vigilante killings, a Jewish community in an English town – what’s the link? The clock is ticking to the next murder.
After witnessing a racist incident in a small Hertfordshire town, journalist Shanna Regan uncovers a series of threatening fake commemorative plaques. Each plaque highlights someone’s misdemeanour rather than a good deed.
Delving deeper, Shanna discovers these plaques are linked to vigilante killings spanning several decades, with ties to the local Jewish community.
As her search for the truth becomes personal, Shanna puts her own life in danger. Can she stop the next murder in time?
The Redeemer is a compelling, thought-provoking murder mystery debut, featuring themes of prejudice and racism, identity and heritage, revenge and redemption, and secrets from the past.
About Victoria Goldman
Victoria Goldman is a freelance journalist, editor and proofreader. She was given an honourable mention for The Redeemer in the Capital Crime/DHH Literary Agency New Voices Award 2019. Victoria lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two sons. The Redeemer is her first novel.