Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (audio)

Dennis Lehane‘s Shutter Island is a creepy novel about a U.S. Marshal with a tragic past who saw dark sides of humanity that many have never seen.  U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is a former intelligence officer during WWII called to Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane to find a patient who has gone missing even though she was locked behind doors.

Chuck Aule is Teddy’s partner on this escapade, and they scour the island looking for the missing patient, who has left them a code to crack — the Law of 4.  The code is simplistic and easily cracked by Teddy, who believes he’s stumbled upon island of horrors in which doctors experiment on patients much like the Nazis and Soviets did during the war.

Lehane’s narrative gets a little bogged down in inane details about the origins of names and other details that are extraneous.  However, his descriptions of the island, the patients, and the water are vivid.  Characters from orderlies to doctors and patients are unique and easily discernible from one another, which is a testament to Lehane’s skill as a writer.  The characters could have easily been similar or stereotypical for a mental-prison hospital.

However, readers may find that they’ve heard this story before, that there are too many clues left for the reader to unravel the mystery long before the main character, Teddy Daniels.  The narrator, Tom Stechschulte does an excellent job changing his voice for each character and reacting to the fast moving dialogue.  Overall, Shutter Island is an entertaining mystery with a twist that may not be as surprising as expected.


Please stop by the next stops on the National Poetry Month Blog Tour at Bermudaonion and 32 Poems Blog.

This is my 28th book for the 2010 New Authors Challenge.

This is my 7th book for the 2010 Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge.


  1. I was so looking forward to the climax ending everyone talked about but unfortunately figured some of it out so I was let down, sigh. I do want to see the movie though.

    Found you from LibraryThing

  2. My roommate and I were discussing this when the movie came out. She had read the book and I said I wanted to see the movie, so she didn’t ruin the ending for me (even though I guessed the ending based on a major FAIL by the Golden Globes committee in which they ruined the ending during a Scorcese tribute video).

    Anyway, then a few weeks ago, she and a friend were discussing the movie in the apartment while I was in earshot…and COMPLETELY ruined the ending for me! AGHHHHH!!!!
    .-= Kari´s last blog ..An exploration through literature =-.

    • That’s terrible. I really had the ending figured out long before the book ended, but I think it follows a particular fiction formula that I’d already seen a number of times.

  3. I enjoyed Shutter Island way more than I thought that I would. I knew that I expected something but I am not sure that I expected what happened.
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..5-12-10: Where Will You Be? =-.

  4. I can’t believe I’ve never read a Lehane book! I do want to read this one but believe it or not I kinda want to go see the movie first. That’s rare for me.

    And, unrelated but I had the wrong feed for your blog! I hate it when that happens. I fixed it now so looking forward to being in the loop again 🙂
    .-= iliana´s last blog ..Observation =-.

  5. I read this a few years ago and for the life of me can’t remember the story line!
    .-= Jenners´s last blog ..Question of the Week: Life-Changing Books =-.

  6. I picked this one up a while ago. I loved Mystic River so I’m looking forward to this one.
    .-= Darlene´s last blog ..Book Review: Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt =-.

  7. I enjoyed the film and want to read the book. haha, I liked that last line in the film, and did hear it wasnt in the book.
    .-= bookworm´s last blog ..He Touched Me, So I Live To Know =-.

  8. I really liked Mystic River, so I wanted to read this one. My mother-in-law saw the movie and kind of spoiled the plot for me, so I’m not sure I’ll read it now.

  9. Well, call me dense, but I saw none of that coming. Absolutely NONE of it. I mean, I read crime thrillers all the time, and often I can work it out. But this one snuck up on me, and knocked me off my feet. It wasn’t the depiction of the inmates (I mean crazy is crazy), but all of the internal angst that Teddy was suffering through that made this book so much of an emotional read. The narrator, too, did an excellent job of communicating all that hurt. I had to get off my elliptical machine, I was so shaken. What drove me crazy, at the end of the day, is how they changed the ending in the movie. There was this one last line that they added that completely changed the state of mind of Teddy. I actually yelled/exclaimed out loud at the movie theater!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Read the Book/See the Movie: Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston (audio) =-.

  10. Not too sure this would be the book for me. *shudder* Too bad it didn’t live up to it’s hype and surprised you more. Have a great week and happy ending.

  11. Since I already know how it ends, I’ll pass on this one. From our discussions, it sounds like a lot of other mental hospital stories. I still hope to read something by this author at some point. Mystic River has been sitting on my shelf for ages!
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday — April 19 =-.

  12. This one sounds very scary to me! I probably wouldn’t figure out the ending either!
    .-= rhapsodyinbooks´s last blog ..Review of “Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Alan Bradley =-.