Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane



Title: Shutter Island
Author:
Dennis Lehane
Genre: Psychological thriller
Publishing Information: April 6, 2004 by HarperTorch

Where I got it:
Borders liquidation sale

One sentence:
In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is assigned to investigate the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando from Ashecliffe mental hospital on Shutter Island, only to find that he is somehow connected.

Themes:
Mystery, detective, psychological thriller,

Main character:
3.5/5
Teddy Daniels was an intriguing, well-rounded character. Lehane dropped in so many additional details and quirks that created additional layers and made Teddy complex. His relationship with his wife was particularly revealing, although I wish I would have seen more interaction of him with his children.

Secondary characters:
3/5
Chuck was a fun secondary character, providing some comic relief while still moving the plot forward. He was a good foil to Teddy, and definitely helped to make clear the roles and limits of each character. I became confused with the many doctors around, and kept mixing them up, so I wish their personalities were clearer.

Writing style: 4/5
While I can’t call Lehane’s writing fast-paced, it definitely kept my interest. The writing was remarkable and descriptive; the action fascinating and entertaining. Lehane was incredibly skilled at leading the audience along his plotline, pulling them along with his twists and turns until they finally reach the ending.

Plot:
4.5/5
One major disappointment for me was that I watched the movie before reading the book, so I pretty much knew what was going to happen. One thing that I liked better from the movie (which is saying something, because the movie wasn’t very good), was the spooky aspect that was incorporated in (or at least shown in the previews). That was sadly missed in the novel, which focused more on the mystery part. However, I adored the premise, and the twists kept me guessing throughout.

Ending: 5/5
Superbly done, fantastic in both execution and action. I can’t tell you anything more except I adored it.

Best scene:
The ending, hands down. Didn’t see it coming.

Positives:
Well-rounded main character, writing style, plot and premise

Negatives: Less than perfect cast of secondary characters,

First Line: I haven’t laid my eyes on the island in several years.

Cover: My version had Leo and scenes from the movie, which was a little disappointing, but it still evoked the feel it needed to.

Verdict:
A thrilling and thought-provoking psychological thriller that left me wanting to read more from Lehane in the future.

Rating:
8 / 10

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