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Summer, 1954.

U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.

But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems.

And neither is Teddy Daniels.

Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe’s radical approach to psychiatry? An approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing. . . .

Or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there?

As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount:

How has a barefoot woman escaped the island from a locked room?

Who is leaving clues in the form of cryptic codes?

Why is there no record of a patient committed there just one year before?

What really goes on in Ward C?

Why is an empty lighthouse surrounded by an electrified fence and armed guards?

The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island.Because someone is trying to drive them insane. . . .

Topics: Conspiracy, Psychological, Missing Persons, Massachusetts, Island, 1950s, Suspenseful, Noir, Mental Illness, Murder, Made into a Movie, Prison, Veterans, and Death

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061897221
List price: $9.99
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I think what I learned from this book, plus having seen two movies (Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone) based on Lehane's books, is that while I believe Lehane is an excellent writer, I really don't like his books all that much as they are just too dark for me. It's hard to describe a book like this without spoilers, suffice it to say that nothing is as it seems. It's set on an island in Boston Harbor in 1954, just as Hurricane Carol is bearing down on the New England coast. Martin Scorsese is making a film of this book, with the release date recently pushed back from October to February of 2010. I'm wondering how faithful it will be to the book's plot and even more, wondering if I really want to see it, even though some of the filming was done here in Maine at Acadia National Park. I wouldn't want to warn anyone off this book just because I didn't like it; it was very well done, just not my cup of tea.more
This book was pretty strange. Even after reading it I wasn't entirely sure what had happened. Even though the twist was predictable it wasn't annoying and it worked very well with this story.more
I absolutely loved this until the ending. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. But before that it is certainly is a page-turner, although a bit creepy.more
Personally I felt rather let down by the book as a whole. I felt that the plot idea was an interesting one but in the end I feel it failed to really deliver. The main character Teddy Daniels was on the whole well written and you felt a certain empathy for him but in truth I was about 2/3 in to the book before it really gripped me. Then,perhaps because it had been so heavily trailed as having one, I worked out the final twist about the same time and as such felt rather disappointed with the ending, a little cheated almost.It could have been so much better but ultimately I felt it failed to really deliver. Others will no doubt disagreemore
Intriguing story, it grips you and drags you all the way to the end! I found this to be a fast easy read, but much as it pains me I would suggest watching the movie instead. Wait! Before you shun me for blasphemy, hear me out.First point: I said the book is a fast read; to be more accurate, it's short. I think it took me under four hours to read, however the movie adaptation is still shorter. That alone is a terrible reason to miss out on a book though.Second Point: The movie plot is almost identical to the book plot. You’re not missing a single detail by watching the movie instead. In fact, I would argue that the movie does a better job immersing you the creepy crawly stuff.more
A riveting read but still don't know if he was Andrew or Teddy at the end.more
Shutter Island is a good read about a detective investigating an escape from an insane asylum, located on an island. There is a great deal of mystery, there's a storm, and there are good plot twists. I am not a big detective fan, but I enjoyed this book quite a lot because of the great writing. I watched the movie right after, and can recommend that as well.more
Not nearly as good as Lehane's Mystic River. An interesting premise, good characters, but just doesn't hang together quiet. I started to get restless half way in and spotted holes in the author's black-out curtains. Guessed the ending way too soon.more
One of the best suspense novels I read.I couldn't put it down once I started.The haunting atmosphere,the big twits,a really engaging read.more
Standing on the ferry, looking out over the water at the foreboding shape of Shutter Island, US Marshall Teddy Daniels reminds himself that it's worth it. The island is home to Ashecliffe, an penitentiary institution for the criminally insane. On that island he will have to face his worst nightmares and the one man who can end his pain: Andrew Laeddis. Shutter Island is an excellent thriller that puts down piece after piece of the puzzle without revealing the big picture. Lehane constructs a very believable world where everyone has their part. Normally I'd probably spoil some of it, but most of you reading this will probably have seen the movie and if not, it would be a huge disservice to this book to spoil anything. Read it and find out. Will Daniels find the firebug who torched their apartment and killed his wife? And if he does, will he kill him or simply get some closure? And where is the missing patient, Rachel Solando, that he and his partner Chuck were brought in to find? What exactly is Cawley doing in Ashecliffe and is he serving his own ambitions or those of the human race?more
I'm normally a sci-fi/fantasy reader but I took to this book... It had a flare and mystery to it I really liked and it kept you engaged... Which I loved!I did catch one thing though... it's totally a guys book. From the way it rolls out to the interplay...as a matter of fact my husband liked it more than I did. No fluff but lots of mystery and trying to figure out what is going on. Great book and highly recommend.more
This 2003 novel is laid in Massachusetts. and starts off wih Teddy and his partner going to the hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island to see why a patient has disappeared. One is led to believe the people running the hospital are the bad guys but eventually it appears that some of the sane people are not so sane. This is an interesting thought, but I felt the author jerked me around and never cleared up what the true situation was. In non-fiction one is prepared to accept that a mystery may not definitively be cleared up but fiction should not leave the true situation unapparent at the end. So this book did not impress me. When I finish a novel the true situation should be clear. I think I know what the true situation was in this novel but of course since novels are not true, who knows?more
Dennis Lehane can do no wrong! In this exciting departure from his usual Boston mysteries, he creates one of the most gripping psychological thrillers of the last decade. As usual his characters come to life on the page and his pacing is just fast enough to hold the reader's attention. This is a must read and the twist ending will have you reeling for weeks after the final page!more
Excellent. I am so glad I read this before I saw the movie - the book is excellent and just what I expect from Lehane. I am forever thankful my BFF introduced me to this author!more
A fast paced, clever novel, not so much a who dunnit as a whodidwhat, with strong characterisation and intelligent dialogue. The author builds up the suspense until the end, and writes about the relationship between Teddy and Dolores with great senstivity. Not the sort of book I normally read, but I'm glad I did.more
very disappointed. the twist at the the end is completely predictable .more
Bold, powerful, disturbing. A perfect combination of The Silence of the Lambs, The Sixth Sense, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.more
I listened to an audio version of this book- very well done. The narrator did an excellent job with characterization. Each character has his or her own distinct voice.The story itself has a Twilight Zone episode quality. Enjoyable but disturbing.more
Title: Shutter IslandAuthor: Dennis LehaneGenre: Psychological thrillerPublishing Information: April 6, 2004 by HarperTorchWhere I got it: Borders liquidation saleOne sentence: In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando from Ashecliffe mental hospital on Shutter Island, only to find that he is somehow connected. Themes: Mystery, detective, psychological thriller, Main character: 3.5/5Teddy Daniels was an intriguing, well-rounded character. Lehane dropped in so many additional details and quirks that created additional layers and made Teddy complex. His relationship with his wife was particularly revealing, although I wish I would have seen more interaction of him with his children.Secondary characters: 3/5Chuck was a fun secondary character, providing some comic relief while still moving the plot forward. He was a good foil to Teddy, and definitely helped to make clear the roles and limits of each character. I became confused with the many doctors around, and kept mixing them up, so I wish their personalities were clearer. Writing style: 4/5While I can’t call Lehane’s writing fast-paced, it definitely kept my interest. The writing was remarkable and descriptive; the action fascinating and entertaining. Lehane was incredibly skilled at leading the audience along his plotline, pulling them along with his twists and turns until they finally reach the ending. Plot: 4.5/5One major disappointment for me was that I watched the movie before reading the book, so I pretty much knew what was going to happen. One thing that I liked better from the movie (which is saying something, because the movie wasn’t very good), was the spooky aspect that was incorporated in (or at least shown in the previews). That was sadly missed in the novel, which focused more on the mystery part. However, I adored the premise, and the twists kept me guessing throughout. Ending: 5/5Superbly done, fantastic in both execution and action. I can’t tell you anything more except I adored it. Best scene: The ending, hands down. Didn’t see it coming. Positives: Well-rounded main character, writing style, plot and premiseNegatives: Less than perfect cast of secondary characters, First Line: I haven’t laid my eyes on the island in several years.Cover: My version had Leo and scenes from the movie, which was a little disappointing, but it still evoked the feel it needed to.Verdict: A thrilling and thought-provoking psychological thriller that left me wanting to read more from Lehane in the future. Rating: 8 / 10more
I loved this book; Shutter Island is a mental roller coaster ride. Lehane knows just how to spin a tale of suspense and keep you hooked until the very last page; perhaps this is the reason why this and two other of his novels have been made into Hollywood movies. As you follow Federal Marshals Daniels and Aule through their search for Rachel Solando at Ashecliffe Hospital you can’t help but question what is really going on. With a perfect twist at the end this novel is sure to please one and all.more
The book that showed me genre writers can be literary geniuses.more
I always find it difficult to review thriller novels because each of them gradually reveals new information within each chapter, so I always have a hard time deciding what I should cover in a review without spoiling too much. This novel is no different, so I will keep this review brief. Lehane is a genius for setting his novel during the backdrop of the Red Scare. It instantly adds even more atmosphere than what is already present in this novel. By the time you finish with it, you feel like restarting from the beginning. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself.more
Although I enjoyed this book, it took me a little while to get into, however i am glad I did. Lots of twists and turns to keep you interested.more
Predictability isn't necessarily a bad thing when the ride is enjoyable. I guess I can safely say that I enjoyed the end. It was good for a suspence-y kind of read. I think I'll like the movie. It didn't require me to think much, and that was nice. There's a lot of smoking in it, though. For me trying to ween off the ciggies, it 's a bit rough.more
Dennis Lehane never fails to craft compelling pageturners, and I raced through this one in 24 hours. Shutter Island is a nightmarish, psychological, mind-bending mystery, that compels the reader to travel along with two Marshals to an isolated island where a prison for violent mental patients is located. Their assignment is to track down an escaped murderess, all the while a hurricane is pounding down on them, inmates are lying to them, and shrinks are throwing up roadblocks. The ending is very ambiguous, so even after reading the last chapter several times, I wasn't certain that I understood what had ultimately happened. After doing some googling, I "get it," but I can't say that I'm completely satisfied with the culmination of this tale. more
I literally could not put this book down. I was walking around the airport reading it! I love the suspense and the emotional roller coster of the characters.more
Read all 139 reviews

Reviews

I think what I learned from this book, plus having seen two movies (Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone) based on Lehane's books, is that while I believe Lehane is an excellent writer, I really don't like his books all that much as they are just too dark for me. It's hard to describe a book like this without spoilers, suffice it to say that nothing is as it seems. It's set on an island in Boston Harbor in 1954, just as Hurricane Carol is bearing down on the New England coast. Martin Scorsese is making a film of this book, with the release date recently pushed back from October to February of 2010. I'm wondering how faithful it will be to the book's plot and even more, wondering if I really want to see it, even though some of the filming was done here in Maine at Acadia National Park. I wouldn't want to warn anyone off this book just because I didn't like it; it was very well done, just not my cup of tea.more
This book was pretty strange. Even after reading it I wasn't entirely sure what had happened. Even though the twist was predictable it wasn't annoying and it worked very well with this story.more
I absolutely loved this until the ending. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. But before that it is certainly is a page-turner, although a bit creepy.more
Personally I felt rather let down by the book as a whole. I felt that the plot idea was an interesting one but in the end I feel it failed to really deliver. The main character Teddy Daniels was on the whole well written and you felt a certain empathy for him but in truth I was about 2/3 in to the book before it really gripped me. Then,perhaps because it had been so heavily trailed as having one, I worked out the final twist about the same time and as such felt rather disappointed with the ending, a little cheated almost.It could have been so much better but ultimately I felt it failed to really deliver. Others will no doubt disagreemore
Intriguing story, it grips you and drags you all the way to the end! I found this to be a fast easy read, but much as it pains me I would suggest watching the movie instead. Wait! Before you shun me for blasphemy, hear me out.First point: I said the book is a fast read; to be more accurate, it's short. I think it took me under four hours to read, however the movie adaptation is still shorter. That alone is a terrible reason to miss out on a book though.Second Point: The movie plot is almost identical to the book plot. You’re not missing a single detail by watching the movie instead. In fact, I would argue that the movie does a better job immersing you the creepy crawly stuff.more
A riveting read but still don't know if he was Andrew or Teddy at the end.more
Shutter Island is a good read about a detective investigating an escape from an insane asylum, located on an island. There is a great deal of mystery, there's a storm, and there are good plot twists. I am not a big detective fan, but I enjoyed this book quite a lot because of the great writing. I watched the movie right after, and can recommend that as well.more
Not nearly as good as Lehane's Mystic River. An interesting premise, good characters, but just doesn't hang together quiet. I started to get restless half way in and spotted holes in the author's black-out curtains. Guessed the ending way too soon.more
One of the best suspense novels I read.I couldn't put it down once I started.The haunting atmosphere,the big twits,a really engaging read.more
Standing on the ferry, looking out over the water at the foreboding shape of Shutter Island, US Marshall Teddy Daniels reminds himself that it's worth it. The island is home to Ashecliffe, an penitentiary institution for the criminally insane. On that island he will have to face his worst nightmares and the one man who can end his pain: Andrew Laeddis. Shutter Island is an excellent thriller that puts down piece after piece of the puzzle without revealing the big picture. Lehane constructs a very believable world where everyone has their part. Normally I'd probably spoil some of it, but most of you reading this will probably have seen the movie and if not, it would be a huge disservice to this book to spoil anything. Read it and find out. Will Daniels find the firebug who torched their apartment and killed his wife? And if he does, will he kill him or simply get some closure? And where is the missing patient, Rachel Solando, that he and his partner Chuck were brought in to find? What exactly is Cawley doing in Ashecliffe and is he serving his own ambitions or those of the human race?more
I'm normally a sci-fi/fantasy reader but I took to this book... It had a flare and mystery to it I really liked and it kept you engaged... Which I loved!I did catch one thing though... it's totally a guys book. From the way it rolls out to the interplay...as a matter of fact my husband liked it more than I did. No fluff but lots of mystery and trying to figure out what is going on. Great book and highly recommend.more
This 2003 novel is laid in Massachusetts. and starts off wih Teddy and his partner going to the hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island to see why a patient has disappeared. One is led to believe the people running the hospital are the bad guys but eventually it appears that some of the sane people are not so sane. This is an interesting thought, but I felt the author jerked me around and never cleared up what the true situation was. In non-fiction one is prepared to accept that a mystery may not definitively be cleared up but fiction should not leave the true situation unapparent at the end. So this book did not impress me. When I finish a novel the true situation should be clear. I think I know what the true situation was in this novel but of course since novels are not true, who knows?more
Dennis Lehane can do no wrong! In this exciting departure from his usual Boston mysteries, he creates one of the most gripping psychological thrillers of the last decade. As usual his characters come to life on the page and his pacing is just fast enough to hold the reader's attention. This is a must read and the twist ending will have you reeling for weeks after the final page!more
Excellent. I am so glad I read this before I saw the movie - the book is excellent and just what I expect from Lehane. I am forever thankful my BFF introduced me to this author!more
A fast paced, clever novel, not so much a who dunnit as a whodidwhat, with strong characterisation and intelligent dialogue. The author builds up the suspense until the end, and writes about the relationship between Teddy and Dolores with great senstivity. Not the sort of book I normally read, but I'm glad I did.more
very disappointed. the twist at the the end is completely predictable .more
Bold, powerful, disturbing. A perfect combination of The Silence of the Lambs, The Sixth Sense, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.more
I listened to an audio version of this book- very well done. The narrator did an excellent job with characterization. Each character has his or her own distinct voice.The story itself has a Twilight Zone episode quality. Enjoyable but disturbing.more
Title: Shutter IslandAuthor: Dennis LehaneGenre: Psychological thrillerPublishing Information: April 6, 2004 by HarperTorchWhere I got it: Borders liquidation saleOne sentence: In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando from Ashecliffe mental hospital on Shutter Island, only to find that he is somehow connected. Themes: Mystery, detective, psychological thriller, Main character: 3.5/5Teddy Daniels was an intriguing, well-rounded character. Lehane dropped in so many additional details and quirks that created additional layers and made Teddy complex. His relationship with his wife was particularly revealing, although I wish I would have seen more interaction of him with his children.Secondary characters: 3/5Chuck was a fun secondary character, providing some comic relief while still moving the plot forward. He was a good foil to Teddy, and definitely helped to make clear the roles and limits of each character. I became confused with the many doctors around, and kept mixing them up, so I wish their personalities were clearer. Writing style: 4/5While I can’t call Lehane’s writing fast-paced, it definitely kept my interest. The writing was remarkable and descriptive; the action fascinating and entertaining. Lehane was incredibly skilled at leading the audience along his plotline, pulling them along with his twists and turns until they finally reach the ending. Plot: 4.5/5One major disappointment for me was that I watched the movie before reading the book, so I pretty much knew what was going to happen. One thing that I liked better from the movie (which is saying something, because the movie wasn’t very good), was the spooky aspect that was incorporated in (or at least shown in the previews). That was sadly missed in the novel, which focused more on the mystery part. However, I adored the premise, and the twists kept me guessing throughout. Ending: 5/5Superbly done, fantastic in both execution and action. I can’t tell you anything more except I adored it. Best scene: The ending, hands down. Didn’t see it coming. Positives: Well-rounded main character, writing style, plot and premiseNegatives: Less than perfect cast of secondary characters, First Line: I haven’t laid my eyes on the island in several years.Cover: My version had Leo and scenes from the movie, which was a little disappointing, but it still evoked the feel it needed to.Verdict: A thrilling and thought-provoking psychological thriller that left me wanting to read more from Lehane in the future. Rating: 8 / 10more
I loved this book; Shutter Island is a mental roller coaster ride. Lehane knows just how to spin a tale of suspense and keep you hooked until the very last page; perhaps this is the reason why this and two other of his novels have been made into Hollywood movies. As you follow Federal Marshals Daniels and Aule through their search for Rachel Solando at Ashecliffe Hospital you can’t help but question what is really going on. With a perfect twist at the end this novel is sure to please one and all.more
The book that showed me genre writers can be literary geniuses.more
I always find it difficult to review thriller novels because each of them gradually reveals new information within each chapter, so I always have a hard time deciding what I should cover in a review without spoiling too much. This novel is no different, so I will keep this review brief. Lehane is a genius for setting his novel during the backdrop of the Red Scare. It instantly adds even more atmosphere than what is already present in this novel. By the time you finish with it, you feel like restarting from the beginning. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself.more
Although I enjoyed this book, it took me a little while to get into, however i am glad I did. Lots of twists and turns to keep you interested.more
Predictability isn't necessarily a bad thing when the ride is enjoyable. I guess I can safely say that I enjoyed the end. It was good for a suspence-y kind of read. I think I'll like the movie. It didn't require me to think much, and that was nice. There's a lot of smoking in it, though. For me trying to ween off the ciggies, it 's a bit rough.more
Dennis Lehane never fails to craft compelling pageturners, and I raced through this one in 24 hours. Shutter Island is a nightmarish, psychological, mind-bending mystery, that compels the reader to travel along with two Marshals to an isolated island where a prison for violent mental patients is located. Their assignment is to track down an escaped murderess, all the while a hurricane is pounding down on them, inmates are lying to them, and shrinks are throwing up roadblocks. The ending is very ambiguous, so even after reading the last chapter several times, I wasn't certain that I understood what had ultimately happened. After doing some googling, I "get it," but I can't say that I'm completely satisfied with the culmination of this tale. more
I literally could not put this book down. I was walking around the airport reading it! I love the suspense and the emotional roller coster of the characters.more
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