Monday, October 3, 2011

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades-with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems. - synopsis from Barnes & Noble

Although this book was published 8 years ago, it will definitely make my list of Top 10 books read this year.  I had never heard of Dennis Lehane (I know - BAD librarian!) until Mrs. Bumbles recommended him last year.  I read his most recent book, Moonlight Mile, and was hooked.  When the movie of Shutter Island came out about that same time, I thought it looked intriguing, but our daughter saw it and didn't give it glowing reviews so I decided to save my $7.  It took me a while - I'm not forty-nine anymore, you know - but when I finally made the connection between the movie and Lehane, I couldn't get to the library fast enough.  

As always, I find it difficult to write a review of a book I really loved because I either end up sounding trite or gushing like a 15-year-old with a new Justin Bieber CD.  "OMG, you've just got to, like, read this book.  It's, like, soooo totally awesome, and it's all scary and, like, tricky."  To avoid both of those things, I'll give you a couple quotes from more professional reviewers . . .

To finish the novel -- and it would be criminal even to hint at its ending -- is to be disoriented, perhaps angered, and finally to reflect on the ability of a master storyteller to play havoc with our minds. - The Washington Post

“Combines the claustrophobia of . . . Agatha Christie . . . with the creepiness of a good Stephen King yarn. . . . Good luck putting this one down. - San Francisco Chronicle

. . . and just add "like, yeah - what they said".  


  1. I don't know that I have read anything by Mr. Lehane though I did recognize the title. will have to give him a try one of these days.

  2. I listened to the audio of this one and thought it was good, but had a fantastic ending. The movie was okay but didn't hold the same suspense for me (Obviously!). Still haven't read anything else he's written but plan to.