Shutter Island Paperback – 1 May 2004
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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
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.
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.
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! :)
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good read. Suspense all through the chapters. Got to see the movie after that but it was always the book that was still better.Published 4 days ago by BariUK
I got this book because I had so enjoyed Mystic River which is brilliant and real. Shutter Island is a fantasy a meaningless tour de force by a talented author. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Onclejon
This book is really amazing, a real page turner that will keep you guessing until the end! It is the best thriller I have ever read, can't wait to see the film now!Published 25 days ago by Kristian Farthing
This is one of the best mystery type novels I have ever read! I hadn't read any of Lehane's books before but I will definitely be seeking them out! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Katie Shevlin
I bought this for my nanna as it had large font and she struggles to read books due to small print. She watched the film and said she enjoyed it so I know she's going to love this. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Charlotte Sutton
Although I didn't enjoy the subject matter, it was a well thought out book.
I prefer the the gritty gangster stories. But love Lehane though.