Book Review: “Shutter Island”

“Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane

GoodreadsGenre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Source: Bought from Amazon

Summary from Goodreads:

In a masterful departure from the Boston-based hard-boiled mysteries he’s known for, New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) offers an atmospheric psychological thriller set in a 1950s asylum for the criminally insane. It’s 1954, and up-and-coming U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Shutter Island’s Ashecliffe Hospital. He’d been gunning for an assignment on the island for reasons of his own — but before long he wonders whether he hasn’t been brought there as part of a twisted plot by hospital doctors whose radical treatments range from unethical to illegal to downright sinister. Teddy’s code-breaking skills soon provide a promising lead, but the hospital refuses him access to records he suspects would break the case wide open. As a hurricane cuts off communication with the mainland, more dangerous criminals “escape” in the confusion, and the puzzling, improbable clues proliferate, Teddy begins to doubt everything — his memory, his partner, even his own sanity.


Normally when dealing with movies that are based on books, I try to read the book first then see the movie. For whatever reason I didn’t do this with Shutter Island. I saw the movie close to a year ago but only read the book within the last month.

The reason I like reading the book first is because I want to get lost in the universe the author creates and to see if the director can recreate that magic. Usually it doesn’t happen.

I was a bit unsure of reading the book since I already knew the huge twist so in a sense the book was “ruined” for me. I liked the movie so why not go ahead and read the book, you know?

FANTASTIC decision. Even though I knew what was going to happen, Lehane was able to keep me glued to the book with his writing. Seriously, I was glued to the book. I think I finished it in about a day. I’m a big reader but it’s hard to find books that keep me glued until I’m done with the book.

The story was crazy but in a good way. As all the pieces start falling into place, you can’t believe it and wondered how you could miss it. I should re-read it to see if there are clues that I missed on my first read.

One of the best parts about seeing the movie first is the director did a great job with the movie and stayed super close to the book so I had the movie going in my head as I read. Very rarely does that happen.


4.5/5 I can’t recommend this book enough. Read it if you like mysteries, thrillers, or have seen the movie.


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