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Corvus Rettulit: "Shutter Island" Book Review

Dear Readers,
This is another section of my blog where I’ll discuss my reactions to books, entitled “Corvus Rettulit”. Of course, you can always leave recommendations and suggestions for other awesome books by emailing me at scb4t@virginia.edu. Anyways, here is my first book review of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island.

Here is just a brief synopsis. When Federal Marshall, Teddy Daniels, goes to the Ashecliffe Hospital, for the criminally insane, to investigate a missing persons case, he never expected to be a rat in a maze. Secrets are rampant on this isolated spot of land as Daniels must uncover the truth about Shutter Island before the truth finds him.

I’m not the type of person who wants to give out spoilers for a book. Therefore, my first reaction to this book is that it really knows how to build up tension and let it explode. This is one book that is loaded with suspense. From its discussions on the treatment of insanity to the twisted dream sequences, this is one maddening (pun intended) page turner.

Now, before I go any further, obviously there are some who may have already seen the Martin Scorsese film adaptation, starring the highly underrated Leonardo Dicaprio. In that case, you may already know how the story ends. However, with common knowledge, it is quite obvious that the book offers a lot more than the film can. Lehane has ingeniously crafted both a beautiful discussion on mental illness and an incredibly effective mystery story that builds suspense with each turn of the page.

Every moment of this novel felt like an Oscar worthy episode of The Twilight Zone as Teddy Daniels continues his investigation of Ashecliffe Hospital. There are plenty of moments, where I felt that this psychological thriller travelled into horror territory as many moments reminded me of stepping into some horror story about lunatic asylums. One particular moment was fueled by an overwhelming tension as you never knew when something frightening might happen. The novel successfully keeps you on the edge of your seat.

In terms of a mystery story, Lehane also does a great job at keeping the reader guessing for a while. True, there are probably some people who can find out the ending way before the novel’s conclusion. However, Lehane provides quite a few clever twists to keep the reader questioning themselves and the narrative. This is an example of mystery story done right, and the twist ending makes the novel even more satisfying as a disturbing thriller. I definitely recommend that you go out to a library or bookstore and check this gem out. You won’t regret it!


Posted in The Word of Bond on April 27, 2013

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