The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.
READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
Believe me when I say that I'm not a fan of mystery novels. In fact, I'm the kind of idiot who's blind to every single clue and who'd rather just wait until the mystery is solved instead of thinking about who might be guilty, because when I do, I always end up being completely wrong. It doesn't mean I don't enjoy mysteries, but they're just not the kind of book I would pick up. However, I am incredibly glad I read this book for one of my classes. IT'S INSANELY GOOD! It freaked me out a little bit (read: a lot), but it's so different from the light and fluffy books I have been reading over the past few weeks, with their predictable endings and the giddy feeling they left me with, that I was speechless.
I really liked the history behind the characters. From the very beginning, I wanted to know more about them, even though it had nothing to do with the plot. As horrible as they were, the patients' crimes created an amazing atmosphere that seriously scared the crap out of me. Also, the WWII references and memories made me shudder and feel very compassionate, because it's so different from what I'm used to and I completely understand how having lived through this could make your life difficult (understatement of the year). From what I've read, mysterious characters are a must for thrillers, and I can assure you that this book had exactly this.
There are vivid descriptions in this novel that made me want to crawl under my sheets and never come out again. Everything about the island's atmosphere sounds like my worst nightmare, from the storm when they get there to the patients they keep inside. Mental issues are incredibly scary in this novel, especially as the story goes and you start to doubt yourself. The occasional murder story, dream or horrible description made me shudder and even more paranoid than I already am, but it made the story richer and scarier. It's a good thing I had to read this quickly, because I couldn't have handled going to bed so scared without having finished this novel.
The plot is definitely the most amazing part of this book. I couldn't believe what I was reading and I had to stifle a gasp more than once because of how surprised I was. Every conviction I had was basically crushed, which is something I'm not really used to with my lack of mystery reads. We've been analyzing this book in class and I discover tiny details that make me want to scream at myself for having been so stupid. If I could re-read this, I would definitely do it right now, because I wish I could see every single clue I missed. I did go back once in a while during my time reading, because I wanted to see if some details were linked to other events. Again, as someone who almost always reads books that are the opposite of thrillers and mystery novels, it felt very different to me, which I loved. I can't believe a mind such as Lehane's exists, because there is some crazy stuf in this novel, but you can be assured I will read some of his other books as soon as I can.
I can't wait to watch the movie now, because I've seen the trailers and it looks at least as dark as the book. I'm so excited! I swear, this book might've turned me into a mystery nerd now, because all I want to do is solve a mystery. That's never going to happen, but I still like the feeling.
I very highly recommend this book. I think anyone would enjoy it, because it's far from my usual taste in books and it's now one of my favourites. Please pick this up, you might be surprised (in a good way!).