Marvin's Reviews > Shutter Island

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
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's review
Aug 30, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery
Read in August, 2009

Shutter Island isn't as good as Mystic River, which I read just before this. Mystic River is an entire neighborhood of fleshed out characters that propelled its tragic plot. Shutter Island isn't so three dimensional. What it does have going for it is a taut plot full of suspense and mystery. This is a puzzle novel. Not a novel puzzle like The Davinci Code where the puzzle is the thing and everything else is secondary. The puzzles of a first-rate thriller exist not as the primary purpose but to pull you into the characters and reveal the actual mystery and meaning of the novel. Shutter Island isn't so much a Who-dunnit as much as a What-the-hell-is-happening. The central plot is about a FBI agent who is attempting to find a missing patient at a mental hospital for the criminally insane in the 1950s. Yet this is one of those novel where nothing is as it seems. Personally, I found the clues a little to easy and guessed the twist in about 100 pages. Anyone who digs word games probably will do the same. However by then, I was hooked on the main protagonist, Teddy Daniels and his slightly too clever sidekick, Chuck Aule (say the name fast). Even if you guess the ending, the journey itself is full of detours and traps that will keep you involved. As someone who worked in mental health facilities, I was also fascinated by the depiction of mental health treatment in the 50s. Over-all I found this novel to be an highly exhilarating ride full of dips and turns.
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Reading Progress

08/30/2009 page 73
02/28/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Are you planning to watch the movie?

Michelle tried to get me to read some of Lehane's books before I moved but I wasn't open to them at the time. I think I might be now.

message 2: by Marvin (last edited Sep 01, 2009 06:43AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marvin I am looking forward to the movie especially after reading the book.

message 3: by Steve (new)

Steve Durham I read the book, and I want to read it again. Something bugs me about Lehane, and I'm not sure what it is: maybe it's a perception that I have that he's playing gotcha!, and that he's rooting for the depraved.
Obviously, he's very affecting: I'll keep brooding on it.
Perhaps, it's, just the Romantic in me, who believes that redemption is possible.
Maybe, it's, also, that I'm growing weary, in my middle age, of glorification of reprobates, ie: South Boston thugs. Ellroy bugs me for the same reason, albeit, in the corruption of 1940's L.A..

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