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5.0 out of 5 stars subtle menace
This intriguing novel starts quietly, mild conflicts and suggested menace not taking enough form for the reader yet to grasp. I had to read the blurb on the back cover to continue through the first few chapters where nothing on the surface seemed to happen except a vague sense of unreality. But pay attention. Things are happening every minute in all directions...
Published 17 months ago by Lyn Alexander

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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a stretch!
Without a doubt Lehane is an awesome writer! For that reason alone he gets 3 stars. What's up with the editing? I have read 5 of Lehane's novels and I have loved them all but this one. The story line had so much potential but it took a deflated turn. I really felt let down. I like the Patrick and Angie series much better. A loyal fan!
Published on June 22 2004


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4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging thriller, June 17 2014
By 
J. Roy "JawsFan" (Montreal, QC, CA) - See all my reviews
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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. Shutter Island grabbed me from the start and even when I thought I had figured the ending out at the halfway point, I'd only really figured a small part of the final twist. Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, Feb. 13 2014
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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 was going on. Interesting book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars subtle menace, Feb. 4 2013
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This intriguing novel starts quietly, mild conflicts and suggested menace not taking enough form for the reader yet to grasp. I had to read the blurb on the back cover to continue through the first few chapters where nothing on the surface seemed to happen except a vague sense of unreality. But pay attention. Things are happening every minute in all directions.

The writing is stunning. Lehane is a master of the slow, inexorable build-up of subtle pressures, ever wider, ever deeper. The reader must put all his senses on alert, watch every word, especially of the back-story continually woven into the present story. And each time an element of backstory is repeated, another layer is added. It's the construction of a complex edifice one brick at a time. Never have I been so drawn onward by dialogue. You can hear in your ear the staccato, sardonic exchanges between Chuck and Teddy, vital to the plot line, and evidence on the first page of an old friendship between strangers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Lehane - Again, May 9 2003
First there were the noir detective books. Then "Mystic River", which was 70-80% different. "Shutter Island" is a 100% switch from either of those. I was fortunate enough to purchase mine at a book signing where Lehane answered questions for about an hour. He has taught writing extensively and is a very patient, cordial and articulate inverview (not all writers speak well). Lehane said something that helps understand all his work, but especially this one. He said his stories are about people who strive and strive for what they want, only to wind up with what they need instead, and is makes their soul whole. "Shutter Island" is a very tight (we know what the main character, Teddy, knows - period), freightening story. Still, Lehane laces his outstanding literary skills and fantastic story line with his usual humorous passages, and his wonderful, punchy descriptive metapors. "Shutter Island" is not literally a haunted castle story. All the characters are "real" (human) and there are no ghosts or other-world beings. But it is absolutely, positively the best haunted castle tale I have ever read. This book goes on my list of all-time favorites.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Thriller, Oct. 9 2006
By 
R. Hansen "rob_slick" (Hamilton, Ontario) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible psychological thriller, July 4 2011
By 
Dr. Bojan Tunguz (Indiana, USA) - See all my reviews
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A couple of Federal Marshalls arrive on an isolated island that houses a high-security Federal prison for criminally insane. They were summoned to investigate a disappearance of a female inmate. They start suspecting that the staff of the prison is not as cooperative as they could be, and Marshalls start suspecting that behind the façade of the mental institution there is a much more sinister operation. This in a nutshell, without giving away any plot details, is the premise of the latest Dennis Lahene novel.

The plot description in itself does not even begin to do the justice to this gripping and harrowing story. Until now I have only been familiar with Lahene through the movie adaptations of his novels, and Shutter Island has also been made into a movie that will scheduled to come out in a couple of months. The previews of the movie seemed very intriguing, and they spurred me to take a look at the novel itself. I was not disappointed in the least. "Shutter Island" has all the elements of a great novel: an intriguing story with many plot twists, a flowing narrative that keeps you interested and guides you from one scene to another, rich, fully developed characters, and an ending that will both surprise you and satisfy you, and make you want to go back and reread the whole novel. The novel is a psychological thriller in two senses of the term. You are constantly intrigued by the states of mind of the main character and much of the most interesting scenes are in the minds of the main characters. Furthermore, by setting the novel in a mental institution the psychological and psychiatric profession becomes a major part of the story. Even so, the narrative evokes some very strong visual impressions, and there is no doubt that it will make a great movie. Stylistically, there is a very strong sense of film-noir to it and of the hardboiled detective novels from the middle of the 20th century.

Overall, this is a rich and deeply satisfying novel and I would recommend it as one of the best examples of its genre. Purchasing it was well worth the money, and I would recommend reading it whether you plan on seeing the movie or not.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written, intensely disturbing, March 26 2006
By 
Freda Loro (Victoria BC Canada) - See all my reviews
After reading Mystic River, I was eager to get my hands on Shutter Island. I wondered if it would be as compelling, and thought that perhaps Lehane had already set his bar so high with Mystic River, he'd have a hard time topping it. Sorry Dennis, I should have had more faith in you.
What sets Lehane apart from so many authors, other than his brilliant storytelling and clever plot twists, is his ability to get inside the charaters' minds, the way he can take a guy's heart and soul and present it on a platter, show us all the nasty bits, so to speak. His characters are so real, so three-dimensional that sometimes I forget I'm reading fiction.
Having said that, I had a difficult time rating this book. I had a tough time with the ending, not because it was disappointing or unbelievable or poorly written (Lehane couldn't write poorly in his sleep), but because it was so intensely disturbing -- not something I'd necessarily recommend anyone rush out and read. Now, I like a bit of grit; I have a morbid fascination with the dark side, however, there's a fine line between entertainingly gritty and downright brutal, and Lehane soared over that line in leaps and bounds. Granted, he did it very well. So, in the end, I couldn't give this book anything less than five stars.
I'd like to read Shutter Island again someday, pick up the clues that I'd missed the first go round, but I think I'll give it a rest for now, perhaps get into something a little lighter, a little easier on the psyche, a little less emotionally taxing.
Nick Hornby, anyone?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A solid psychological thriller, Jan. 23 2011
By 
Andre Farant (Ottawa, Ontario) - See all my reviews
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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 streets of Boston and strikes out for an island institution for the criminally insane, circa 1952. The story follows Teddy, a Marshall investigating the disappearance of a female inmate responsible for the deaths of her children. Of course, this mystery leads only to new questions with a final solution that you may see coming but will shock you nonetheless.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM..., Jan. 3 2011
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars `How much violence, Marshal, do you think a man can carry before it breaks him?', Dec 27 2010
By 
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
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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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Shutter Island
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 11 2009)
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