A few months back, I saw a preview for the Martin Scorsese movie “Shutter Island”. It looked like a horror thriller, but not something I would be interested in, I don’t usually do detective stories. When the movie opened at #1, I have to admit I was became intrigued enough to want to read the book, though I ended up listening to it on CD. Its read by Tom Stechschulte, or as I like to call him “man of many voices”, who made me think I was listening to several different narrator and not one (except for the female roles!). I knew almost immediately I was in for one heck of an enjoyable ride.
Shutter Island, was written by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote Mystic River, which was made into an acclaimed movie with Sean Penn. The book opens with two US Marshalls, Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, arriving at the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, located on Shutter Island in 1954. They are investigating the disappearance of a murderess, Rachel Solandro, who is believed to be hiding out on the island. But how did she escape? Teddy is haunted by the death of his wife Dolores, in an apartment fire set by Andrew Laeddis, whom Teddy believes is also on this island. The men are greeted by the seemingly benign Dr. Cawley and eventually meet the nefarious Dr. Naehring, whom Teddy, a WWII vet, who helped to liberate death camps in Europe, suspects was a Nazi. So are evil experiments going on here? Did they kill Rachel? What is in Ward C? And where is Laeddis? And if Teddy finds him, will he kill him? Will Teddy and Chuck ever leave the island?
Nothing is as it appears, nothing and that makes for one harrowing and exciting, rollercoaster of a book. Just when you think you got it, things change. The lead character, Teddy, is a good, strong, upstanding lawman, who struggles with his past. In flashbacks, you find out more about his relationship with his wife, his guilt, his sadness….