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Shutter Island: A Novel Hardcover – Apr 3 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (April 3 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688163173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688163174
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 15.7 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (296 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #370,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Know this: 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, and the ways in which both can be warped by violence and evil. In summer 1954, two U.S. marshals, protagonist Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, arrive on Shutter Island, not far from Boston, to investigate the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando from the prison/hospital for the criminally insane that dominates the island. The marshals' digging gets them nowhere fast as they learn of Rachel's apparently miraculous escape past locked doors and myriad guards, and as they encounter roadblocks and lies strewn across their path-most notably by the hospital's chief physician, the enigmatic J. Cawley-and pick up hints of illegal brain surgery performed at the hospital. Then, as a major hurricane bears down on the island, inciting a riot among the insane and cutting off all access to the mainland, they begin to fear for their lives. 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 marvelous prose that enriches the narrative. There are mysteries within mysteries in this novel, some as obvious as the numerical codes that the missing patient leaves behind and which Teddy, a code breaker in WWII, must solve; some as deep as the most profound fears of the human heart. There is no mystery, however, about how good this book is; like Mystic River, it's a tour de force.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Lehane is red hot--his Mystic River (2001) is currently being filmed by Clint Eastwood--and he returns with another blistering page-turner. It's 1954, and U.S. Marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule arrive at a small island in Massachusetts' Outer Harbor. It is home to Ashcliffe Hospital, a federal institution for the criminally insane, and one of the patients has escaped. Although the two men are new partners, they have already developed a wry, jocular relationship while also swapping personal, painful details. Daniels' lost his much-loved wife two years prior in a fire, while Aule requested a transfer out of Seattle after being harassed over his personal relationship with a Japanese American woman. After interviewing the hospital's medical personnel, both men have the feeling they are being stonewalled, especially by the director, who seems to alternate between a cold authoritarianism and a sudden and sweeping compassion. When the island is hit by gale-force winds and Aule disappears, Daniels must go it alone, beset by the fear that he has been fed psychotropic drugs and the belief that the hospital is performing radical brain surgery as part of a secret-ops program. Lehane throws in one mind-bending plot twist after another in a psychological thriller that will leave readers in suspense right up to the end. A master of the adroit psychological detail, Lehane makes the horrors of the mean streets pale in comparison to the workings of the human mind. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Hansen on Oct. 9 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've just finished reading this page-turner and it was absolutely mind-blowing. I couldn't put it down, and after I finished it, I went back and re-read the first few chapters to pick up on clues I missed.

The book starts out slow over the first few pages with a flashback and Lehane uses many more flashbacks during the novel that I initially thought slowed down the story.

I won't spoil anything, but the story is crafted wonderfully and every scene becomes relevant as the ending unfolds.

This is a great book for the reader who likes a surprise. I thought I had guessed the outcome of many situations and the author managed to flip them around on me still.

I definitely recommened Shutter Island (and I agree with a previous reviwere who suggested finding someone else who has read the book so you can discuss it when you finish). It is something that you will think about long after finishing.
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By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER on Jan. 3 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a highly original thriller with gothic overtones. Taking place in 1954, it is quite atmospheric and redolent of the times. The writing is taut, and the suspense is palpable. With many twists and turns the reader is pulled in, slowly but surely, into a virtual labyrinth of a mystery.

When United States Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, arrive on Shutter Island, little does Teddy know how utterly puzzling his visit will become. He is there to visit a hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Rachel Solando, a killer who escaped from a locked guarded room.

During his visit, strange little tidbits of information come to the fore, and nothing appears to be quite what it seems. Even the common place seems to take on sinister overtones, as Teddy pushes his investigation. His own past seems to have some bearing on the events that transpire. Even his partner seems to be a tad off the mark.

Just what is going on at Shutter Island? The author will lead the reader a merry and complex chase, as one layer after another s peeled back to reveal the truth behind Shutter Island and Teddy's investigation.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the summer of 1954, US Marshal Teddy Daniels travels to Shutter Island, home of the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Together with his partner, Chuck Aule, Teddy sets out to find an escaped psychotic patient named Rachel Solando. Apparently, Rachel Solando has managed to escape from a locked cell, walk past a group of orderlies and get past two guarded checkpoints. Given that it would be impossible for her to swim from the island to the mainland, she must be somewhere on the island. But where is she? Is there an answer in the cryptic coded message that she has left behind?

The mystery in this novel is not only about Rachel Solando. Teddy Daniels was very keen to accept this particular assignment and despite his fear of water - which made the ferry trip a nightmare for him - has his own reasons for wanting to be on Shutter Island. His wife's murderer is on the island as well, and he is keen to find him. Teddy Daniels is also curious about what goes on at Shutter Island: there are three wards housed in separate buildings and an apparently empty lighthouse is surrounded by an electrified fence and armed guards. Why?

When Chuck Aule disappears, it seems to confirm that Teddy Daniels's own life is also in jeopardy. But why? And why are the doctors not completely co-operating with the investigation? What is the truth about Shutter Island?

The hurricane that sweeps over Shutter Island provides the perfect backdrop to the story. And the ending? It took me by surprise, and then it made its own form of perfect sense. Maybe.

`They're creating ghosts here, Marshal. Ghosts to go out into the world and do ghostly work.'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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By Liana on Feb. 19 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a prime example of an author who truly knows the value of good storytelling. Dennis Lehane has spun a masterful tale, providing colourful description to create engaging characters, dialogue, and chilling atmosphere.

The novel is split into four sections, one for each day. It should be said that through the entirety of the latter end of the book -- the last sixty pages, or thereabouts -- I had chills, and my heart was pounding. As each character grows more paranoid, Lehane encourages the reader to sink into paranoia along with them.

If you are like me, you like a good twist -- key word there being GOOD. Although I was able to guess a couple of things ahead of time, it's nearly impossible to guess them all; making those few guesses (and being right) detracts none from the well-written story, which flows so well from the very beginning to the very end. It won't leave you feeling empty, like many twists will, because it is executed just so, leaving things open-ended enough for several interpretations of what really went on at Ashecliffe Hospital.
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By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 7 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There's always something about asylums that have always given off an uncomfortable feeling. The way Lehane writes in this novel really expresses the uneasiness and queasiness about asylums and how an outsider would feel when first entering one. He does a real great job creating the mood and setting. It's bleak. It's dark. It's gives off an omnious feeling that by the middle of the book you're starting to doubt yourself and you're not sure what's real and what's not. You feel what Teddy feels. It's done really well and does a good job enticing you to read further, to get you to want to explore the asylum and join Teddy in his journey to find this missing patient. Suspecion is placed on everybody and you the feeling of mistrust starts to build throughout the book.

The plot is filled with twists and turns. It engages you to help solve the puzzles, and once you start thinking you're one step closer to solving the case, another twist is thrown in and you're back to square one. It's not frustrating. It's actually more exciting and every twist puts you into shock. I was especially shocked during the last few parts of the book. This is definitely a page turner. There a few dream sequences from Teddy that you might find strange (almost like an acid trip) but they're almost comparable to something you might find on the show Twin Peaks. They're just strange but it does fit the book quite nicely.

Character wise, I think the main focus would be on Teddy himself. The rest of the characters are very secondary and even his partner, Chuck, is flat. The main character development falls on Teddy and when you see what really happens to him, you're left speechless and literally dumbfounded.
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