Thursday, September 17, 2015

SHUTTER ISLAND by Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane took a big leap in his work with this first novel following his stunner of a masterpiece, Mystic River, tackling a period piece for the first time, with a story that somehow both
narrowed and widened his scope. It's about two U.S. Marshalls stuck on a job at an island-based criminal asylum, tracking down an escaped convict during a dangerous hurricane. I haven't read this in a while but I remember it being such a great example of a popular best-seller that fully deserved the attention it got! It's a first-rate psychological thriller and mystery, and I felt like Lehane did everything right. With its 1950's setting, to the Gothic feel of the location, the incredibly potent ambiance created by setting the story during a storm, it's shocking twists, it's brooding protagonist, and it's locked-room (locked-island?) mystery vibe, it's like the book is tailor-made to be awesome. It's also definitely one of the most atmospheric books I've read. It has such a moody, creepy tone, I can still remember the feeling it gave me while reading it late at night before bed. I remember being engrossed and transported. And although not as emotionally gripping as Mystic River, it's a tighter narrative and another amazing notch on Lehane's bibliography. He's one of my favorite authors, and along with Stephen King, probably has the most books on my favorites list! 


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