Full disclaimer: I did receive this book from the publisher in exchange for review, but my thoughts are my own, and I was going to read this regardless.
From the publisher:
Signy Shepherd has spent her career with the Line, a modern underground railroad, shepherding at-risk women out of peril. When Signy takes Lizzy, a young woman desperate to save her infant son, under her protection, the case appears to be like any other. With a severe winter storm on the horizon, Signy drives Lizzy and her son out of the city. Suddenly, she finds the police hot on their tail, and when Lizzy’s erratic behavior propels them into further danger, Signy begins to suspect that her new ward is not the victim she claims to be.
Meanwhile, Signy’s PTSD-stricken mentor, Grace, investigates Lizzy’s husband. But Lizzy’s husband is hiding secrets of his own, and soon Grace finds herself out of her depth. As the treacherous blizzard closes in, the entire operation spirals out of control. Isolated and relying on nothing but her instincts, Signy is confronted with a choice that will force her to risk not only her own life, but those of the people she cares about most.
Dark Territory is the second book in the Signy Shepherd series by Susan Philpott. The first book, Blown Red, was released last year and it was fantastic! This book was even better, in my opinion.
Signy works for the Line, which is an underground railway of sorts that helps women escape terrible situations, which is as empowering as it sounds. Signy helps transport the women to their new lives, and of course, runs into trouble along the way.
In this book, Signy is tasked with helping Lizzy Stone and her young son, Justin, escape her successful doctor husband, Solomon. Solomon seems like the perfect husband and father with a successful medical career, but he is definitely not the man he appears to be; however, neither is Lizzy. Signy has to decide whether Lizzy is telling her the entire story, and if she's not, how can she help someone who may be more dangerous than Solomon?
What I love about these books is that you don't always know who you can trust. I wavered between trusting and not trusting Lizzy, which made the book more interesting. On the surface, Lizzy seemed like a scared wife/mother, but underneath, she may have been hiding her own demons.
Grace is another character who returns, and I'm glad that we got to see a little bit more about her and her past. I was feeling a little skeptical of her after Blown Red, but she really grew on me throughout this book. I'm excited to see where her character goes next.
Signy is definitely my favourite character. She is tough, resourceful, smart, and not afraid to kick some ass when necessary. She had a rough start in life, but that hasn't stopped her from becoming an absolute necessity for the Line and the women she helps. She's a little more vulnerable in this book, as she needs to ask for help from a person that she doesn't exactly want to. I was pleased to see her more vulnerable, though, as it added more depth to her character. I can't wait to see how else she'll grow as the series continues.
This book is perfectly paced; even when the action stops the story is continuing to move forward. It will leave you flipping the pages as fast as you can, and will never let you stop wondering who to trust. It will make you cheer to see women being portrayed as strong and successful people who can more than handle their own. Philpott is fantastic at crafting characters you'll want to see succeed.
I do have two small gripes. I was a little sad that the book took part mostly in the U.S. I loved that Blown Red took place in Canada, and I hope that Philpott chooses to set the next books back in Canada.
The only other small thing is that at times, there are scenes that are so graphic they had me cringing. This is to be expected in a thriller book, though, so while it didn't bother me a lot, I could see it bothering those who may be a bit more sensitive.
I would recommend reading Blown Red first, because you'll have more background on the characters, but you could probably read this as standalone and still enjoy it. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a heart-pounding thriller with kickass women at the core.