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Shutter Island Paperback – 1 May 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 205 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 May 2004
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Shutter Island
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New edition edition (1 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055381382X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553813821
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,094,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Shutter Island is something of a departure for Dennis Lehane. It is not like the private eye novels with which he made his name and it is not especially like Mystic River, his distinguished crime novel about murder, loyalty and revenge. Instead, he gives us a classic of psychological suspense--US Marshal Teddy is summoned to a remote hospital for the criminally insane to look for a missing patient and finds his own future and sanity on the line. It is the 1950s and experiments with drugs, conditioning and brain surgery are all the rage both in the psychiatric profession and in the shadow world of government agencies.

Teddy rapidly becomes aware that no-one he is talking to is remotely telling him the truth and that he cannot be wholly sure even of his charming new partner. As the island hospital is isolated by a hurricane, we find ourselves unable to trust a single thing that the narrative tells us--Lehane displays a gift for sleight of hand which is showily disorienting. At the same time, this is not just a box of tricks. We find ourselves caring deeply for Teddy and his partner Chuck, whatever is going on and whoever they really are.--Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"'A psychological tour de force.  Absolutely nothing is as it seems in this effortlessly complex thriller'" (The Times Literary Supplement)

"Lehane's new novel, his first since the highly praised and bestselling MYSTIC RIVER, carries an ending so shocking yet so faithful to what has come before, that it will go down as one of the most aesthetically right resolutions ever written. But as anyone who has read him knows, Lehane, despite his mastery of the mechanics of suspense, is about much more than twists; here, he's in pursuit of the nature of self-knowledge and self-deception...All of the characters - particularly Teddy, haunted by the tragic death of his wife - are wonderful creations, but no more wonderful than the spot-on dialogue with which Lehane brings them to life and the marvellous prose...A tour de force" (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred))

"Lehane, you'll gradually realize, is playing tricks with your head. And by the time you get to the brilliant twist at the end, you'll be questioning your own sanity, too. Chilling, thrilling and so clever you'll be chewing it over long after the final page" (MIRROR)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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