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 Kaveney
From Publishers Weekly
Boston-area novelist Lehane has written a terrific suspense novel, an impressive follow-up to 2001's Mystic River. Shutter Island is off Massachusetts's coast, an army facility turned hospital for the criminally insane. When a beautiful-and certifiably crazy-patient escapes, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, are called in to investigate. Embroiled in uncertainties and mystery, the two soon learn there's much more at stake than simply finding one missing woman. Stechschulte gives a stirring performance. His portrayal of Daniels is convincing, and he reads the role with equal parts poignancy and toughness. Stechschulte is particularly adept at reading dialogue. For example, one stormy night at the hospital, Teddy and Chuck are playing cards with two of the hospital's workers. The quartet banters, calling each other's bluffs and having a grand old time, yet tones of racism underlie the conversation. Stechschulte handles the dialogue well, distinguishing between each voice and varying the pace between rapid back-and-forth and thoughtful, drawn out remarks.
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