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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Thriller
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...
Published on Oct. 9 2006 by R. Hansen

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book; misses being great for the lack of editing
Can Lehane ever top "Mystic River", one of the top twenty books so far this century? Maybe, but not with "Shutter Island", where Lehane goes from great to good for lack of an editor.
The storyline and narrative of this book are flawless; so are the characterization and dialogue. In fact, the plot is mind-blowing -- even after finishing this book,...
Published on June 22 2004 by Marifrances


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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
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shutter Island (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but predictable ending, July 13 2004
By 
Justin Lee (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shutter Island (Mass Market Paperback)
Shutter Island is about two federal marshals who go to Shutter Island to investigate a prisoner escape. The island houses a prison for the criminally insane, and upon arrival, they find out that much has been covered-up with respect to this escape. The more they probe, the more questions they have, and soon their vision of reality breaks down as they begin to discover a conspiracy beyond their wildest imaginations.

I liked Shutter Island. I love codes, and mysteries, and such, so this was quite a good read for me. Unfortunately, I did see the ending coming, because it seems to be the thing to do these days. I'm not sure how many people it actually surprised, but it didn't surprise me, and that ruined it a little for me. It just seemed that it's been done so much, whether in Fight Club or The Magus decades before.

It's quite a concidence that I just read John Fowles' The Magus a few months ago, and the resemblance between the two books are uncanny. In The Magus, it is about this English schoolteacher who meets this eccentric millionaire on a remote Greek island, who employs questionable methods of psychiatry to cure schizophrenic patients, and where he soon finds out that they mounted an elaborate play for his benefit. Sound familiar?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fiendish, Absolutely Fiendish, July 6 2004
This review is from: Shutter Island (Mass Market Paperback)
Shutter Island is a terrifying novel that chilled me to the bone. It played the hugest trick on me of any book that I have ever read. During the last couple of chapters I had this feeling of absolute disbelief - could this really be happening? Surely the book couldn't end this way. Please don't let it end this way! But it did. Bloody hell, I thought the ending to Hannibal by Thomas Harris was nasty. In this book, the ending is fiendish.
The characters were all described very well and with lots of imagination. Teddy Daniels is a US Marshal and the year is 1954. He is investigating Shutter Island with his new partner US Marshal Chuck Aule. You feel great sympathy for Teddy as his past is revealed - the death of his lovely wife Dolores and his violent clashes in the war. All this is written about in the most beautiful language. The scenes where Teddy goes back over his overpowering love for Dolores are particularly poignant.
Dennis Lehane draws you in to the plot by creating vivid characters, scenery, intrigue, mystery and clues at every turn. And then he calmly proceeds to turn everything inside out in the most shocking way possible. The plot was terrifyingly plausible and the last couple of chapters so hideous that they defy words.
Overall this is a great novel. Great in its ability to deceive and shock. Can I honestly say that I enjoyed reading it? Well, with tears falling down my cheeks as I got through the final chapters, I came to the conclusion that no, it had not been an enjoyable reading experience! Somehow I suspect Lehane never intended it to be. But he did a fantastic job of scaring the life out of me.
JoAnne
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5.0 out of 5 stars It will take your breath away!, June 27 2004
This review is from: Shutter Island (Mass Market Paperback)
Dennis Lehane is a master. I started this book wondering if it could possibly be as good as Mystic River. Most certainly, it is. Edward (Teddy) Daniel and his partner, Chuck Aule, meet at the beginning of this book, on the boat to Shutter Island. They are both U.S. Marshals, called to aid in the search of an escaped inmate at an institution for the criminally insane. A hurricane hits. The reader follows Teddy and the plot through twists and turns to a place that one would never suspect. Along the way are several interesting characters, the least of which is Dr. Cawley. Is he what he seems? Is he conducting evil experiments in the light house, or is he a compassionate psychiatrist? Lehane takes you on a wild ride. Just when it seems the end must be in sight, another hairpin turn leaves you rocketing down a three story drop with your heart in your mouth.
Don't wait until everyone else has read it and told you about it. Read it now, before someone spoils the ending for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the jacket blurb -- it's actually good, June 25 2004
This review is from: Shutter Island Cd Sp (Audio CD)
I can't believe I picked up this book. The jacket notes make it look like just another inmates-taking-over-the-asylum story, or some kind of Stephen King knockoff. Good gracious! Someone's trying to drive our hero insane in the insane asylum! Give me a break. I picked up the abridged CD at the library anyway, because I've listened to just about all their others. That's a problem with living in a small town and traveling a lot.
But it was good. I really enjoyed it. The story was enjoyable, good adventure, smooth story. Protagonist isn't just a dumb action figure, and is actually a pretty complex and likeable guy. The fellow reading on the CD has the right voice, gives good life to the characters. Even the abridged story was pretty seamless, something that doesn't happen enough. When the slips and twists start coming, you notice them as slips and twists instead of as annoying gaps in the story. That's not easy to do in a shortened novel.
Can't say too much about the story itself without either sounding like the nerd who wrote the marketing copy or ruining the story. Recommend listening hard to the seeming throwaway short narrative at the very beginning. After that, just go along for the ride.
Just read the thing. It's a fun one. -- RG
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shutter Island? More like Shudder Island..., June 22 2004
By 
Robert Wellen (CHICAGO, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shutter Island (Mass Market Paperback)
Lehane is truly a great suspense writer. I have not read his dectective novels; only the amazing Mystic River (which was better than the movie btw). So, perhaps I do not judge him quite the same as some other reviewers. Mystic River is a brillant study of friendship, responsibility and shattered dreams. Although this novel has those same themes, Lehane approaches this book in a much different way. It is spooky, atmospheric, and twisting. Even makes some interesting points about mental health treatment in America. The story is excellent and the ending is indeed a shocker. What I liked about it, besides being almost completely shocked (I figured out only one small part), was how it fit. The book does not make an outrageous leap at the end and the ends are indeed tied up. Honestly surprising book until the last sentence. So few thrillers do that. It was nice to read a surprising and frankly a scary novel that was not absurd. It all works. I admire Lehane's mind. I just don't want to visit it anytime soon.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good book; misses being great for the lack of editing, June 22 2004
By 
This review is from: Shutter Island (Mass Market Paperback)
Can Lehane ever top "Mystic River", one of the top twenty books so far this century? Maybe, but not with "Shutter Island", where Lehane goes from great to good for lack of an editor.
The storyline and narrative of this book are flawless; so are the characterization and dialogue. In fact, the plot is mind-blowing -- even after finishing this book, it will be hard to get it out of your head.
However, this book has a rushed, half-done feel to it, like it was a first draft and got rushed to publication without a good editing. There are some oddball similes and metaphors in it that an editor would have attacked with a red pen. Also, the reader is not fully informed about the hurricane being on its way; so when it does arrive, you could find yourself flipping back a few pages and scratching your head -- "Huh? There's a hurricane all of a sudden?" Also, the end of the book, when the orderlies unroll the white cloth, is confusing. What's in the white cloth? I don't get it. It did spook me out, though; so it was at least partially effective.
All of these issues would have, and should have, frankly, been fixed by a decent editing job, but I don't think this book was given the pleasure.
I don't think Lehane is alone. Actually, I think this lack of editing is some sort of current trend in book publishing, maybe having to do with the downsizing at big publishing houses.
Anyway -- this book is recommended, especially if you are a Lehane fan. It's a good, decent read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A stunning book, June 12 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Shutter Island (Mass Market Paperback)
Do you generally see the twists coming a mile ahead of anyone in murder mystery stories? Feel smug about it? Need taking down a peg or two? Look no further.
I came to this book cold but it's won me over completely into Dennis Lehane land. Initially it reads simply like a well written dime store detective novel, a thoroughly enjoyable whodunnit to see you through the week. Dialogue and prose-wise this book has it's own rote and humour, a certain lightness, which puts into vibrant contrast its dense, brooding claustrophobic storyline. A story set in a modern gothic location in the late 40s/early 50s, when, atmospherically the Cold War looms and the wounds of World War II still bite.
Two detectives, a missing woman from a sealed room in a mental institute for the criminally insane, on a dark stain of an island off the American coast, obstructive staff, disruptive patients, a storm of hurricane proportions fast approaching and an underbelly richly layered with conspiracy, paranoia, revenge and trauma. You find yourself reading the book into the dawn hours desperately keeping your eyes open to read just one more page. Enough! A great book you think? A rollicking good read? Can't wait til the ending you think....but... you see... it's at this point that you realise exactly just how much you've been underestimating the author. A wonderful storyteller and a jaw dropper of an ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Suspense, June 3 2004
By 
Brennon A. Slattery (Somerville, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shutter Island (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading "Mystic River," I decided that Dennis Lehane has got to be the best pulp fiction novelist around. "Mystic River" was an easy, breezy read, but with serious moral and emotional undertones.
So I picked up "Shutter Island," and read it in two days. I was thoroughly impressed. Though some people are more apt to point out cliches in the detective/mystery genre, I don't read enough of those books to find them. What I did expect, however, was to figure out the ending before it came to me. I didn't give Mr. Lehane enough credit, seeing as how he writes for the mass public, and I'm accustomed and comfortable with sweeping, epic books by dead white men. My fault. Apparently I do not give any mystery/suspense writers enough credit, as "Shutter Island" threw all my expectations out the window.
Not only was the story and the suspense palpable, the characters were great, too. You really felt for Teddy Daniels, rooted for him during the whole ride. His suspicion quickly became your suspicion. And even when all the covers are thrown off at the novel's conclusion, you still have strong doubts about the credibility, since Daniels has doubts. Lehane definitely puts you in his main character's shoes. The supporting characters - and there are quite a few - are definitely colorful, memorable ones, and Lehane avoids the pitfalls Stephen King often become embroiled in by giving us a convincing, dramatic story without the over-blown cheesiness that makes King so popular and accessible.
Now I will pick up all of Lehane's other novels. They are a perfect "mindless summertime" read ... when you're not ready for the Big Dogs of Literature, and just want to lap at the wading pools, Lehane is definitely a good start.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock Redux, June 1 2004
By 
David W. Nicholas (Van Nuys, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shutter Island (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a strange novel. The atmosphere is so heavy, the characters so stereotypical, the action so creepy, that you wonder if you're supposed to think this is more subtle than that. It is, but not in the way you expect, and I can't say more without giving away the big surprise of the plot.
Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule are U.S. Marshals, sent to the mental facility at Shutter Island to assist in the search for an escapee, a woman named Rachel Solando who killed her children and has been incarcerated in this facility for some years. The facility holds only the most dangerous criminals, violent and delusionally insane, and tries a varied regimen of treatments to deal with their problems. The difficulty comes in that the Marshals are convinced that someone's not telling the truth: the escaped woman apparently dissolved and walked through walls to escape, and it seems everyone at the hospital is lying about what happened. Nothing seems to make any sense. As they investigate further, things get stranger and stranger, and then stranger still.
I enjoyed this book, but I can't recommend it wholeheartedly. It's not that suspenseful, more atmospheric than anything else, and the plot twist isn't completely unexpected, just a bit strange. It's also a bit derivative of a popular movie of a few years ago (I won't tell you which one, because it might partially ruin the twist for you here) and somewhat depressing. I did enjoy the book, and I would recommend it, given those shortcomings.
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Shutter Island
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (Mass Market Paperback - April 6 2004)
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