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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.
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
This was the first Lehane novel I read, after having seen two movies based on other works of his, Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River, which I'd greatly enjoyed. Read morePublished 17 months ago by J. Roy
This was an book that was difficult to follow and kind of creepy. You never know if the main character is the one who should be locked up or if the facility was behind all that... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Marlyne Harrison
This intriguing novel starts quietly, mild conflicts and suggested menace not taking enough form for the reader yet to grasp. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2013 by Lyn Alexander
Though possibly better known for his Kenzie and Gennaro series of mystery novels (recommended to any fan of Michael Connely's or Jonathan Kellerman's), here Lehane leaves the tough... Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2011 by Andre Farant
This is a highly original thriller with gothic overtones. Taking place in 1954, it is quite atmospheric and redolent of the times. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2011 by lawyeraau
In the summer of 1954, US Marshal Teddy Daniels travels to Shutter Island, home of the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2010 by Jennifer Cameron-Smith
I rate this product zero because it was defective and the book was printed wrong so it could not be read. Read morePublished on Dec 2 2010 by Ashley