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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Heart Of Shutter Island
Cold War America in 1954 and Shutter Island, off the coast of New England, is the location of a high security sanatorium that houses some of America's most violent and disturbed criminals. Teddy Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aule are two U.S Federal Marshals sent to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando, a delusional child killer.
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Published on 22 Jun. 2003 by Dr. Bertie Dastard

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ultimately, below his best...
Lehane stands slightly apart from that cadre of American thriller writers, such as Coben, Burke or Block. He stands apart because of the quality of his initial idea. And, here again, he has a good basic idea for a novel.

Initially, he sustains that momentum. This novel doesn't jar; it slides down easily. But for me, he underplays the basic conundrum of the plot...
Published on 3 Mar. 2010 by bloodsimple


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Heart Of Shutter Island, 22 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Shutter Island (Hardcover)
Cold War America in 1954 and Shutter Island, off the coast of New England, is the location of a high security sanatorium that houses some of America's most violent and disturbed criminals. Teddy Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aule are two U.S Federal Marshals sent to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando, a delusional child killer.
From the moment they arrive, the feeling pervades that the resident doctors are trying to psychologically control them and Shutter Island is hiding something far more sinister than a facility for the criminally insane. Why would a redundant lighthouse, away from the facility, be fenced off and guarded?
The island is hit by a hurricane and Teddy realises, now he's cut off from civilisation, that he may need all his faculties just to get off the island alive, never mind discover what lies at the dark heart of Shutter Island.
Generally I'm not a fan of this type of mystery but I'd recommend this to any adult reader. More experienced mystery readers will enjoy the cryptic clues left by Rachel Solando. I didn't want to pause as the narrative dragged me on. I was willing Teddy Daniels to retain his sanity and defeat the manipulations and mind games of the psychiatrists. Maybe I should have paused because I didn't see the ending coming and even when it happened I was left in disbelief. Even hinting at it would be bang out of order. I had to look back and the pieces fitted perfectly.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Think You've Figured It Out and..then.., 9 Aug. 2003
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island (Hardcover)
You Think You've Figured It Out and....then
Dennis Lehane is a master of writing and surprise. He is one of the best writers of today- his possession of language and description surpass none. His new novel "Shutter Island" is one of the best. Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, U.S.Marshalls, are asked to go to Ashecliffe Hospital for the Mentally Insane to find an escaped patient/killer, Rachel Solando. Ashecliff is on an isolated island off the coast of Boston. From day one none of the staff are very helpful- always below the surface is a subtle message- we don't care, we are going through the motions from those who inhabit this strange island. The worst hurricane of the season occurs, and Teddy and Chuck going nowhere with this investigation, fear for their lives. Will they get off the island, will they find the killer, what is going on in the tower, and why does Teddy have such a hard time forgetting his dead wife? Will any of these questions be answered? Unless you have a tortured, twisted mind- the ending will clear the air. prisrob
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lehane goes noir, 3 July 2006
By 
Mr. A. J. Smith (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island (Paperback)
For fans of Lehane's Kenzie & Gennaro series, this novel may come as a bit of a surprise. It is altogether a darker and more mysterious piece. I've heard that some people who've read this book didn't understand the ending - don't let this put you off. The very ambiguity of the ending, set up by the mind blowing twist, is something that kept me thinking of this book for weeks after.

It's a great read & I'd recommend it to all fans of thrillers & mysteries. I like Lehane & believe that this is amongst his best (the main competition being Mystic River.)

Give it a go - I bet you won't be disappointed.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, 4 Aug. 2009
By 
Alexander Bryce (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island (Paperback)
What a book. After Mystic River, my first Dennis Lehane,I thought that he could do no better. I was wrong. This is a cracker . A mystery that keeps the reader on his/her toes throughout. Take an institution for the criminally insane on an island off Boston during a storm circa 1954 then throw in a missing "patient",two young U.S. marshals who have baggage and have never met before, a variety of unusual guards and medics. The result in the hands of a real story teller like Mr. Lehane is a book that you can't put down.
As with all good writers you soon become involved with his characters and really care what becomes of them.
It would be unfair to be too specific about the twists and turns as the story unfolds as this could ruin it for potential readers. Suffice to say that just as you think that you have worked it out you soon learn that you have not and have to rethink again and again right up to the final revelation.
I would go so far as to say that this is the best work of its kind that I have ever read. I wish that I was starting it anew.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A psychological thriller with a real twist, 8 Mar. 2010
By 
O E J - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island (Paperback)
Broadly speaking, a novel is made up of three key elements - the characters, the story, and the prose. In Mystic River, Lehane excelled at character-building, and the novel stands tall even for that mastery alone. In The Given Day, it was the prose that stands in the memory, and again made for a very satisfying read even if the story was merely very good. In Shutter Island, it's the story that takes centre stage, and makes for an even more enjoyable read in its own unique way.

This is a novel about which you should know as little as possible in advance to get the best out of it. I hope other reviews don't give the game away, because there's a major twist to this tale that thankfully I knew nothing of until I found out for myself. The revelation makes the book great, so I'm not going to so much as hint as what that twist could be, I just want to get the message across that if you like thrillers, or crime fiction, or quite simply if you like a good book to read, then read this one. It's a lot more clever, in the end, than you'll give it credit for in the early stages.

In summary it's a story based in 1954 built around US Marshall Teddy Daniels, who is given the task - with another marshall - of finding the escaped inmate of a high-security institution on a remote island near Boston - a kind of mental Alcatraz for the eastern seaboard. Ashecliffe Hospital houses some of the most violent and dangerous criminals in America, and has a reputation for carrying out 'operations' on its inmates partly to minimise the risk they carry, but also for highly dubious research purposes. Daniels is faced by an unsupportive staff and management and is haunted by the ghosts of his own past, in particular the death of his wife a couple of years earlier.

I love stories that surprise and turn out to be completely different from what I expect them to be, even after reading three-quarters of its pages. Compared to other Lehane novels the characterisation is merely good and the prose again just very good. But the story itself is juicy, involving, moving, intriguing and absolutely engrossing. I enjoyed it as much as Mystic River or The Given Day but for very different reasons, but it serves to demonstrate what an outstanding writer Lehane is. It's clear - to me at least - that he set out to draw prominence to the story rather than devote time and trouble to perfect writing skills, even though he can do that most capably. When I look back over the past decade and consider what Lehane has achieved, including his contribution to THE WIRE (one of the best TV series ever made), and the fact that four of his past five novels have been or will be made into major film releases, then it is clear that he is at the top of his game and among his peers in crime fiction he is without doubt as good as any of them. I just wish he could produce more novels than he does, because I would buy anything he publishes without hesitation.

The film Shutter Island is coming out very soon and I would imagine that if the book is any guide we can expect a dead-cert box-office success. I'll go and see it despite knowing the ending, in the meantime if you don't know what happens then the best advice I can give is to do one or the other if not both, and get ready for a surprise that will make for a highly entertaining experience whether you read it or watch it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars creepy, full of tension and heartbreaking...., 6 April 2010
By 
pd0c (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shutter Island (Paperback)
This is my first encounter with LeHane and I was totally blown away. The pace of story, the engaging characters and the creepy setting all added to the reason why i read this book in two days (I work full time so its pretty good going for someone who does that and tends to "hit the hay" by 10pm!!)

I was heartbroken, creeped out and tense as hell - all in equal measure. I had no issue understanding the ending - just to make sure it was as I thought I read the short end chapter again! Won't tell unless asked but the devil is in the detail ;)

Once I understood Teddy's back-story I was moved to tears...I had goosebumps by the end of the book.

I loved this book so please don't listen to all the negative reviews and don't feel compelled to listen to my review either- just read it and make your own mind up. Hopefully you'll feel the same way as me!

I'm now a confirmed LeHane fan with "Darkness, Take My Hand" safely nestled in my bag...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the mind plays tricks....?!, 14 July 2010
By 
R. L. Judd (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island (Paperback)
An intriguing read - I had expected a typical thriller-esque novel, with standard plot twists & tension.

However, what I actually found this book to be was a complex assessment of the human mind - how events can trigger reactions; how actions & words can be misinterpreted and how the mind can play tricks.

The premise of the book is interesting although the central character of 'Teddy' isn't particularly likeable. There is a real sense of Clausaphobia and, as I reader, I experienced on several occasions the desperate need for escape which is the sign of a good storyteller/ writer.

The ending has a nice twist, although is something of a disappointment considering the build-up - I really wanted it to go another way. However, the ending is actually fitting and the author does an amazing job of tying everything together. I sat back when I finished and thought back through the book and was able to put things together again and see the clues myself. Wonderful.

My only slight complaint (prior to finishing the book) was that Teddy spent too long 'inside' himself - there is a lot of text about his dreams, memories, thoughts, and I found this distracting and didn't understand why it was included. I would recommend to any future reader to pay attention to these moments, don't skim them like I did, and to 'stick with it'. There are lulls in the book, but its all worth it at the end!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cracking Thriller, 6 Sept. 2009
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island (Paperback)
This is the first of Dennie Lehane's books that I have read - I saw the trailer for the Shutter Island movie - it looks great so I decided I'd like the read the book first.

Set in 1954 in an asylum for the criminally insane situated on Shutter Island just off the coast of Boston, we are introduced to US Marshalls Teddy Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule. They have arrived on the island to track down an escaped patient - Rachel Solano. Rachel is a very dangerous woman, as are all of the other 65 patients housed on Shutter Island.

The reader soon discovers that Teddy Daniels has another reason for taking this assignment - events from his past link him with the Island and one of it's inhabitants.

To go into any more detail would spoil the plot but the book is fast-paced with lots of action, the story is full of twists and turns and very suspenseful in places.

The ending is jaw-dropping, I had to go back and re-read some of the previous chapters just to ensure that I'd read it correctly. It's certainly not what I expected and is extremely well written.

The movie is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio - it is due for release in February 2010 - I hope it stays true to the story in the book - if so, it should be a cracker.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a league of his own!, 14 Feb. 2004
By 
This review is from: Shutter Island (Paperback)
I love my job but never have I regretted its low wages as much as I do right now because after having read "Shutter Island" (my first Dennis Lehane experience) all I want to do is rush out and buy every single other book he has written.
The story takes place in 1954 when two US. marshals arrive on Shutter Island off the Boston coast to investigate the inexplicable disappearance of one of the patients of the hospital for the criminally insane which is located on the island. The chief physician and the rest of the staff are unhelpful to say the least and the more that the two marshals look into the whole affair the stranger it all gets. Something is definitely not as it seems and perhaps their reason for going to the island isn't what it seems either.....?
Every time you think that you've got it figured out the story takes another turn and draws you in even further and you wouldn't be able to predict the ending to save your life. All of the elements as such have been seen before but it's not what he does that makes this book great, it's how he does it. How he puts it all together and creates a book which is absolutely mind-blowing. Everything fits together just right and is just where it should be and the ending, although it is sad, is the only proper one. There may not be such a thing as "perfect" in literature but this is close enough to kiss. Read it, read it, read it! :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open the shutters, 25 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Shutter Island (Paperback)
Dennis Lehane is a first class writer of detective novels not content to stay in the genre. He leaves his comfort zone for a psychologically complex thriller that plays in its own space but draws upon the craft skills he has accumulated from his genre writing. He succeeds in creating a great air of mystery around this island and the characters, and uses the collective paranoia we feel towards authority and government to misdirect us.

I think the person picking up this book will be very impressed by Lehane's great narrative skill. This book is much better than the film made of it - though that was perfectly decent, and succeeded in re-creating the mood of the book. It just works better as a novel - it draws upon the imagination so well. Once you see the images in the protagonist's mind, it somehow reduces the impact. The emotional impact of the novel is much greater than the film.
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Shutter Island
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (Hardcover - 1 May 2003)
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