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Publisher's Summary

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. 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. 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 ...

©2003 Dennis Lehane (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barry
  • Katy, TX, United States
  • 06-17-09

Outstanding psychological thriller set in the 50s

Shutter Island was an amazingly enjoyable audiobook, from the first to last sentence. Tom Stechschulte does a great job with the narration, as he usually does.
But it's the story that really hooked me. I don't leave many reviews, but had to mention my surprise at how ingenious this story is, and how well it flows toward the surprise ending (I really didn't see it coming).
US Marshall's suspect that some illegal activities are taking place at a prison for the criminally insane. The Marshall's are welcomed to the island, but quickly feel they're being given the runaround.
The suspense builds and never lets up, one of the most enjoyable reads in months.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dee
  • weymouth, MA, United States
  • 03-04-10

WOW! A great find....finally!

Read the book before you see the movie!! Actually.... skip the movie! LOVED this book! I've read / listened to over 100+ books in the past 2 years and have never written a review. I just had to on this one. The narrator was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! Every character had a distinct voice and in a few places he had to switch back and forth at lightening speed....and he did! Excellent job on his part. Hats off! The story was as good as the story teller.Something interesting happened quite often and I found myself trying to figure things out too...right along with the main character.
If twists and turns are what you like, get this book. Something different from soooo many others. I've been getting very bored with the same old plots and storylines and this was refreshing.It really was enjoyable and I'm sure you wont be disappointed.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vicki
  • Morrow, OH, USA
  • 02-25-10


I read alot of books, but this is the first one in a long time that had my attention so thoroughly that I couldn't put it down. I could constantly be seen with my earbuds plugged into my head. I always thought I was pretty good at figuring out the ending, but this one caught me totally by surprise. Not only does the author do a great job of making his characters three dimentional, the narrator does a remarkable job of bringing them all to life. No sooner had I reached the last page when I started the book over again to see how differently it would read after knowing the ending. This is one author I will add to my favorites, and one narrator that I will watch for in my book purchases. It was a fantastic read!!1 I now find myself wanting to attend the movie to see if it follows the book. As far as the ending, I liked it. It still leaves you wondering about Teddy.It allows you to use your own imagination. I'm still pondering it!

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Laprin
  • bedford, tx United States
  • 11-17-09

Keeps you riveted until the end

I am an avid reader and listen to a lot of audiobooks because of my long commutes. There are very few that I would recommend as highly as this one. The opening was a little slow but once the reader is ushered into Shutter Island,the narrative moves at a quick pace, taking you on a psychological thrill ride that keeps you guessing. The narrator does a great job of illuminating the characters. This is not a typical predictable read!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly good

I was pleasantly surprised by actually liking this book. The story holds together well and the psychology seems well researched. This is a good example that a story doesn't have to be long to have engrossing characters and tell a chilling tale. I also saw the film and it stayed close to the book. I advise both because the acting and directing are excellent.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Narration

I'm going to preface this by telling you that I saw the movie version of Shutter Island when it was in the theaters. If you haven't seen it, please do. The previews really don't do it justice and I left the theater wanting to read the book. Now, it's often the case that the book disappoints when you've seen the movie first (or vice-versa), but not here. I'll say that the movie is very true to the book and really captures the atmosphere of the book quite well. And, although both movie and book have a surprising ending, it actually adds to the experience rather than detracting from it when you already know the surprise. Think about how "Sixth Sense" becomes a different movie on second viewing, but it's somehow richer when you know how it ends.

The audio book edition of Shutter Island is exceptional. The narrator's pace fits the story perfectly. When I got to the last couple of hours, I couldn't stop listening because both the story and the narration had become so dramatic. The narrator really captured the essence of the story.

This is my first encounter with Dennis Lehane, but I'm sure it won't be my last. Shutter Island is an amazingly well-done story in all it's incarnations.

P.S. I just noticed that there's an abridged version and an unabridged version of this book. The one I listened to was the unabridged version released in 2008 and narrated by Tom Stechschulte. From the sample on Audible, the narrator of the abridged version sounds quite different.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Norfolk, MA, USA
  • 04-29-09

Very well performed and a fun experience

This is my second Dennis Lehane read and I thoroughly enjoyed it -- until the last chapter. Lehane needs, a closer, a lierary Jonathan Papelbon, who can close a story with authority. Unfortunately, Lehane struggles a bit with his endings, and this one doesn't seem worthy of the rest of the book.

Don't let that keep you from this, though. Because, as in life, it's not the destination, it's the journey. And Dennis Lehane has crafted a fantastic journey.

The narration on Shutter Island is excellent and with just the right amount of acting. Reminded me of when my grandfather used to read to me. Very well done.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lew
  • Cedarhurst, NY, United States
  • 11-12-09

Absolutely Riveting

I listened to this audiobook in anticipation of the film adaptation by Martin Scorsese. The storyline, read masterfully by Tom Stechschulte, is simply riveting from the opening paragraph to the last. Every morsel of this book is tangle of paranoia with the author daring the reader to guess "what's real?" Listener be cautioned, this is a very disturbing psychological thriller and if you weren't expecting to be frightened, you will be. Brilliant story, excellent narration.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Really Good Mystery and Narration

I gave it 4 stars, taking one off for the overall darkness. However, it is a great psychological mystery that kept me wondering and guessing...and I'm still thinking about it!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Topanga, CA, USA
  • 03-23-10

Entertaining, Riviting, And Unexpected!!!

I feel like I'm piling on a little, as there are many a great review for this book, but I just had to share. I listened completely enthralled to this book, thanks equally to great writing and the great narration. Both writer and narrator create characters rich and vivid, opened raw and a bit enigmatic.

I truly cannot understand the couple of lackluster reviews I've seen here. I highly recommend this book and would liken the flavor to that of M. Night Shamalan & Christopher Nolan (both writers/storytellers before they are filmmakers).

Get this, then sit back and enjoy!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful