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Shutter Island Book Review

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Title: Shutter Island
Author: Dennis Lehane
Published: 369
No. of Pages: 2003, HarperTorch
Cover Price: $7.99 US



Dennis Lehane’s thriller noir, Shutter Island is set in the early 50’s, as Teddy Daniels, a US Marshall, is sent to Shutter Island to help locate a patient, Rachel Solando, who has disappeared. Shutter Island is the site of the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, and Teddy is teamed up with a new partner, Chuck Aule. Security is very tight, and Teddy is astonished that a patient could be missing. Unfortunately, a hurricane hits the island, causing extra problems with the search.

Teddy has an alternative reason for being on the island and asking to be assigned to the case; he is searching for Andrew Laeddis, a firebug who burned his apartment down two years ago, resulting in the death of his adored wife, Dolores. Although her death occurred over two years prior, Teddy has not gotten over it and misses her terribly; he also has feelings of guilt. Teddy believes that Laeddis is also on the island and while attempting to solve the disappearance of Rachael, he sneaks into the various sections and outbuildings of the hospital to look for him.

In addition to the search, Teddy also learns that unsavory things are going on, and that doctors are doing brain surgeries and other experimental procedures that are illegal, such as lobotomies. Things are not as they appear on this island, and Teddy is determined to find out the facts.

As the novel proceeds, the reader is swept into a surreal setting; the characters are not as they seem, and it’s difficult to determine who the bad guys really are. Unfortunately, Teddy, the main character and supposed hero, is not particularly likeable, and unlike many thriller novels where the reader is anxious for the main character to save the day, the reader most likely doesn’t really care what happens to Teddy. In fact, if readers are like me, they will just want the book to end because they will grow tired of the odd story and the weird characters. This is not to say that the book is poorly written; Lehane is very clever in the way he presents the story, and shows a certain expertise in his writing. Fans of the bizarre will love this novel; however, it may not be suited to the mainstream thriller reader.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: Shutter Island

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