Shutter Island – Mini Review

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

From the publisher:

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 remote and 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 what it seems. But then neither is Teddy Daniels.

This is the first Lehane I have read, although I did see the movie of “Mystic River.”  I had the impression that his books were sort of bleak, which never really appealed to me.  I really only picked this up because Jen picked it for her That’s How I Blog show.  In fact, the first time I picked it up, I put it down after 40 pages or so because it wasn’t grabbing me.  Then Jen tweeted about how amazing the ending of the book was, so I decided to give it another go.

I’m not really sure at what point I started to enjoy “Shutter Island;” at one point I was basically making myself read it so I could join in with the discussion, the next thing I knew I didn’t want to put it down.  I really never came to like the main character much, but he was compelling, and the story was even more so.  It was at times a bit crude, but a fantastically pieced together psychological thriller.  I would really like to listen to the audio version of this book, so I could try to piece together all the clues that Lehane scattered about to what would happen in the end.

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This review was done with a book from the library.
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13 comments to Shutter Island – Mini Review

  • Jen, I’m so glad you gave SHUTTER ISLAND another try and enjoyed it. It’s one of my all-time favs. I discovered Lehane via Michael Koryta and started off reading his Angie/Patrick series. In the series he remains pretty consistent, but after that Lehane just explodes in all directions. He’s one of those writers that you can’t pin into a genre because he’s just everywhere…and he seems to do it all amazingly well.

    If you want to give another of his novels a go, GONE BABY GONE is a great one – much better than the movie, even. And if you’re really up for it, you could do it for “Detectives Around the World!” 😉

  • Like you, I’ve only seen Mystic River as my experience with Lehane, but I have this book on my shelf.

  • Lehane is one of those authors that I’ve been meaning to read but so far, just haven’t felt compelled enough to do so. We’ll see if that changes anytime soon.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Teaser Tuesday: East of Eden =-.

  • I have liked the movie Mystic River, but for the same reason as yours, been very hesitant to read Dennis Lehane’s books. I hope someday to get over it!

  • Great review. I haven’t read Lehane either. I’d definitely read this and other of his books though. Thanks. When I watched Mystic River the first time I liked it.. but it left me so cold. I have since watched it again. I find it brilliant.

  • I read Mystic River and liked it. I saw a trailer for the movie version of Shutter Island today and it looks much creepier and darker than Mystic River.

  • I sometimes like it when I have a reason to read a book that forces me to push past the beginning when I would otherwise move on until I really get into a book – most recently that happened with Reading Lolita in Tehran, which I was glad I read but had a hard time getting into at first. This book sounds interesting!

  • I just finished The Given Day on audio and it was pretty good! Long though. I’ve been wanting to listen to this one too, but I don’t think the library has the audio (yet). It might once the movie comes out and gets the attention. Saw the trailer this weekend actually, and it looked intriguing. Think I’m going to go check again to see if they have it…
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Christmas in Indiana #3 =-.

  • Glad that it won you over. I got really into this one. Sometimes it can take awhile for me to make my way through an audio, but I listened to this one rather quickly!
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..This Just In! Murder Behind The Badge, by Stacy Dittrich =-.

  • I loved Mystic River but that’s the only LeHane I’ve read. I can’t remember if I listened to it or read it, though. I’ve been meaning to get to Shutter Island before seeing the movie.
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday 62 =-.

  • I’ve been dying to see this movie ever since the trailer came out several months ago. But during the Golden Globes’ recognition of Scorcese, they showed a clip from the movie that looked like it could be the ending. I haven’t read the book so I know nothing about it, but if that clip ruined the story’s ending, I’m gonna be so pissed at the Hollywood Foreign Press.

  • My son (37) and I read each of Lehane’s books as they came out. What a treat. He’s so much more than a mystery writer. A Drink Before the War is our favourite, but you won’t go wrong with any of them. Glad you reviewed this. A pity that books have to be made into films before people pay attention to them. Better late than never though.

  • I listened to the audio a year ago and remember writing in my review that I wasn’t interested until halfway through and then the end made it all worth it. I haven’t spoiled it for my hubby and can’t wait to take him to the movie.