Book Review: Blown Red
ashley | I love books that are set in Canada, or more specifically, in around Toronto where I currently live. Susan Philpott shows her Canadian pride in her debut novel Blown Red, scattering familiar landmarks surrounding my fair city throughout these pages. I immediately felt connected to the book and to the characters.
Blown Red is basically a thrilling road trip across Canada from Vancouver to Toronto, with Signy Shepard escorting a young girl down “the line” to a safe house in Toronto. The line is a modern day underground railroad, transporting abused and endangered women through a line of other women until they are somewhere safe and well away from their abusers. It’s a really interesting premise and a detailed operation. Of course, along the way Signy hits some bumps and the people after the girl she is looking out for are hot on her trail.
I really enjoyed the book, Signy was a deliciously complicated character, found abandoned in a dumpster when she was a child with no link to her upbringing. She is temperamental and a bit of a wild card, but she is also exactly the kind of person I would want charged with my protection if I were in this situation. She has a fierce survival instinct and a tenacious drive that is needed to do what she does.
I do think there could have been a bit more depth to Signy’s story and a bit of additional detail to the circumstances that created the reason for this road trip. I felt that the underlying danger to the girl, Elena, was a little weak, but I really liked the twist that Philpott hits us with towards the end of book. She set it up right from the beginning, but made it seem like things were kind of going in another creepier direction, a nice diversion.
There’s a lot of train imagery throughout the book representing the Underground Railroad. Blown Red itself is train terminology. But it all suits the book, everything flies by at a rapid pace and you’re able to just sit back and enjoy the ride. This series is definitely a train I won’t hesitate to jump on.