Summer, 1954 - US 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 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 rumours of Ashecliffe's radical approach to psychiatry? Rumours that hint of drug experimentation, surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing ...As the investigation deepens, the questions mount. How has a barefoot woman escaped an island from a locked room? Who is leaving them clues in the form of cryptic codes? Why is there no record of a patient committed 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...
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Shutter Island is something of a departure for Dennis Lehane. It is not like the private eye novels with which he made his name and it is not especially like Mystic River, his distinguished crime novel about murder, loyalty and revenge. Instead, he gives us a classic of psychological suspense--US Marshal Teddy is summoned to a remote hospital for the criminally insane to look for a missing patient and finds his own future and sanity on the line. It is the 1950s and experiments with drugs, conditioning and brain surgery are all the rage both in the psychiatric profession and in the shadow world of government agencies.
Teddy rapidly becomes aware that no-one he is talking to is remotely telling him the truth and that he cannot be wholly sure even of his charming new partner. As the island hospital is isolated by a hurricane, we find ourselves unable to trust a single thing that the narrative tells us--Lehane displays a gift for sleight of hand which is showily disorienting. At the same time, this is not just a box of tricks. We find ourselves caring deeply for Teddy and his partner Chuck, whatever is going on and whoever they really are.--Roz KaveneyReview:
'A psychological tour de force...Absolutely nothing is as it seems in this effortlessly complex twister' -- The Times (Play)
'Chilling, thrilling and so clever you'll be chewing it over long after the final page' -- Mirror
'Lehane's new novel carries one of the most aesthetically right resolutions ever written...A tour de force' -- Publishers Weekly
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