Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane: Book Review

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Shutter Island Book Cover

4 Stars

Shutter Island is off the coast of Massachusetts, housing an asylum for the criminally insane. As a nasty summer storm brews up, U.S. Marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule cross over to the island to search for an escaped inmate. But Teddy knows that things are not as they seem on Shutter Island.

Ho-lee crap. It’s been a while since a book has messed with my head this much. Just as I thought I knew what was going on, a new revelation would come along and knock all my theories out from under me. It all ultimately made sense and brought me deeper into this world, and I have to say that I loved it. I didn’t really know what was going on until the very last few pages, and I find that even after I finished it, I’m sitting here thinking, “Well, maybe it still really wasn’t what it seemed…” You’ll see. I bet almost everyone is surprised by this ending.

The twists and turns were the big draw of this book for me, but I loved Lehane’s style. This is the first book I’ve read of his, but it won’t be my last. Shutter Island is set in 1954, and I love the way these marshals speak to each other and so quickly establish common ground through The War. Their speech, their mannerisms, it all fit together to make them feel like real people.

If I say anymore, I’ll give something away, so I’ll leave it at that. I highly, highly recommend this if you like your thrillers gritty and unpredictable.

The movie comes out today, and I think it will have to be fantastic. Great original material, great cast, great director–what’s not to love?

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  1. Just became a new follower.
    Really enjoyed your review of Shutter Island. Just picked it up myself from the library. I also want to read it before I see the movie.

  2. You're the first person I've heard comment on the movie. I'm glad to know you liked it! My husband has read this also, and I know we're going to end up seeing it. Like you said though–Scorsese, DiCaprio–it has to be good!

  3. I saw the movie and hadn't even realised it was a book first until I looked it up on Amazon! I am definitely going to have to read the book as well! I'd definitely advise you to see the movie, Scorcese and DiCaprio… need I say more?!

  4. Nice review!! Although I want to read this, the theme was spooking me off till now. But now I can't wait to find out what the surprise ending is. I have to read this! 🙂

  5. Great review, a friend lent this to me yesterday so I may read it soon.

    I want to see the movie but want to read it first.

  6. loved Shutter Island and all of Lehane's books! he is an interesting character, himself — intelligent, moody, witty, dark, and very Boston. had dinner with him in Nashville 5 years ago. we were attending a library thing. can't wait to see the movie. thanks for reminding me it is released today and thanks, also, for stopping by On the Bookcase!

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