Review: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Title: Shutter Island
Author: Dennis LeHane
Obtained: borrowed from library
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Format: hardback
Rating: 4/5
Read for: 2011 Gothic Reading Challenge

Blurb (from dust jacket)

Summer, 1954.
U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.
But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems.
And neither is Teddy Daniels.
Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe’s radical approach to psychiatry? An approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing…
Or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there?
As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount:
How has a barefoot woman escaped the island from a locked room?
Who is leaving clues in the form of cryptic codes?
Why is there no record of a patient committed there just one year before?
What really goes on in Ward C?
Why is an empty lighthouse surrounded by an electrified fence and armed guards?
The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island.
Because someone is trying to drive them insane…

**WARNING: there are spoilers for the book in this review. If you don’t want to know what happens, please don’t read.**

My Thoughts

I cannot gush over how much I loved this book. I really like psychological twists, and while it wasn’t what I was expecting (the summary lead me to believe that it would be a mystery), it was what I got, and the further I got into the book the better it got, and I just couldn’t put it down.
It seems like such an unambiguous ending, but you’re still left wondering whether it’s all in Teddy’s head, or if he really is Teddy and they’re committing him anyway. The puzzles that Teddy and Chuck find along the way spell out the ending, but if you don’t pay too close attention to them, you’ll be surprised at the end. I’m definitely one of those people who don’t put two and two together until it’s too late, but for me that works out well because I like being surprised with endings.


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