Dennis Lehane is the author of ten previous novels--including the New York Times bestsellers Live by Night; Moonlight Mile; Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day--as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He lives in California with his family.
This crime thriller is probably Lehane's best book to date. Off the coast of Massachusetts is rather grim, gray, and forbidding Shutter Island, a penal colony for the criminally insane. Federal marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule are sent there to find a woman prisoner who has apparently disappeared. But how and where did she go? The island is heavily guarded, as is the twice-weekly supply ferry. Teddy also has another agenda: he seeks the man who killed his wife two years ago. Things are not what they seem as Chuck and Teddy, plagued by migraines and nightmares, dig deeper into the secrets that the island holds. Things reach such a pitch that you don't know whom to believe, which all leads to an ending worthy of Agatha Christie or O. Henry. [A film version, directed by Martin Scorsese, is being released in February 2010 -Ed.] Highly recommended for all public libraries. [LJ 5/1/03] Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Know this: Lehane's new novel, his first since the highly praised and bestselling Mystic River, carries an ending so shocking yet so faithful to what has come before, that it will go down as one of the most aesthetically right resolutions ever written. But as anyone who has read him knows, Lehane, despite his mastery of the mechanics of suspense, is about much more than twists; here, he's in pursuit of the nature of self-knowledge and self-deception, and the ways in which both can be warped by violence and evil. In summer 1954, two U.S. marshals, protagonist Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, arrive on Shutter Island, not far from Boston, to investigate the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando from the prison/hospital for the criminally insane that dominates the island. The marshals' digging gets them nowhere fast as they learn of Rachel's apparently miraculous escape past locked doors and myriad guards, and as they encounter roadblocks and lies strewn across their path-most notably by the hospital's chief physician, the enigmatic J. Cawley-and pick up hints of illegal brain surgery performed at the hospital. Then, as a major hurricane bears down on the island, inciting a riot among the insane and cutting off all access to the mainland, they begin to fear for their lives. All of the characters-particularly Teddy, haunted by the tragic death of his wife-are wonderful creations, but no more wonderful than the spot-on dialogue with which Lehane brings them to life and the marvelous prose that enriches the narrative. There are mysteries within mysteries in this novel, some as obvious as the numerical codes that the missing patient leaves behind and which Teddy, a code breaker in WWII, must solve; some as deep as the most profound fears of the human heart. There is no mystery, however, about how good this book is; like Mystic River, it's a tour de force. Major ad/promo; 20-city author tour; simultaneous Harper Audio and Harper Large Print edition. (One-day laydown Apr. 15) FYI: Dennis Lehane is the subject of the next installment of PW's Innovators Series (Apr. 14). Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"There is no mystery...about how good this book is; like Mystic River, it's a tour de force."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)