Ooh, the mind games! {Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane} #readmyowndamnbooks

Ah, the mind. Agh, my mind!

About Shutter Island by Dennis LehaneUS Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to find an escaped murderer named Rachel Solando. As a killer hurricane bears down on the island, the investigation deepens and the questions mount. How has a barefoot woman escaped from a locked room? Who is leaving them clues in the form of cryptic codes? And what really goes on in Ward C? The closer Teddy gets to the truth, the more elusive it becomes. And the more he begins to believe that he may never leave Shutter Island. Because someone is trying to drive him insane...

My two cents

How do I write this review without spoiling it for those of you who have never heard of this book? If you haven't watched the movie (which stars Leonardo DiCaprio if you didn't already know based on that cover), well and good ... you should read this. If you have, then you already know that this is story is not what is makes itself out to be as per that little blurb or the marketing spiels out there.  

This a novel that starts out as one thing and morphs into something totally different. 

At face value this is a little hunting mission for two US Marshals, Teddy and Chuck, for a murderer on the loose on an island that houses the criminally insane (so naturally the escapee is also insane). If that isn't exciting enough for you, there is a huge hurricane, power outages, the prospect of more escaped wards, and oh-but-of-course, a host of clues that are begging to be solved. 

But wait. There is more! There seems to be a conspiracy that's pretty insidious in its prospects. And there are also hints throughout the novel about Teddy Daniel's personal life, a haunted past that only makes the reader wonder who the heck this US Marshal really is. 

All throughout this excitement, something deeply unsettlingly lies in store for the willing victim err, reader. I loved that Lehane took me on a journey that can only be described as being "played." It's all an elaborate mind game, not only for the lead character, but for you and me as readers. I fell for it all, hook, line and sinker, and I loved it! Ah, to recapture that feeling when I first watched The Sixth Sense! 

P.S. Books like this come rarely for me as I usually can see through elaborate plotting. If you have any recommendations for surprisingly good books that eff up your mind, let me know!


A suspenseful conspiracy-mystery with a surprising twist ... for the reader. If you liked The Sixth Sense, love psychological thrillers, pick this up. Or watch the movie. Or both!

Yes, I #readmyowndamnbooks! I got this from some random thrift sale. Or something. 


  1. The movie was fantastic. I really didn't see it coming. I grabbed the book last week and wonder if I might spot clues in it that would have hinted at what was really happening. Should be a good read.

  2. I read this, too, many years ago. Your review sounds pretty much like the way I felt about the book. As I recall, I was really confused about what was real and what was imagined. It's a book that I think I need to reread one of these days just so I can be less confused by it. I would rate the book very highly.

  3. Loved the movie! Of course we take everything at face value in the beginning :) When I was reading the book, I kept imagining Leo and Mark Ruffalo. Gotta say that the scenes with Teddy's wife seemed much more disturbing to me when read ...

  4. It's confusing so the payoff is really great at the end! :)

  5. I saw this movie on a flight, which is probably the reason I watched it until the end. I thought it was absolutely terrible! Maybe because the whole situation was scary and horrible. I agree there was a twist at the end, which came as a huge surprise, but I could not see a reason (unless they thought this was the only way to make him confess) to put all this charade into action. Maybe the book makes it more believable.

  6. Aww, that's too bad! I hope the plane ride wasn't spoiled because of the movie. The scheme is quite elaborate, I agree! I better understood the backstory in the book though so yes, maybe some things are lost or not as obvious in the movie.

  7. JoanneMarie FaustMarch 7, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    I saw the movie before reading the book, too. I still found the book to be very suspenseful and you get so much more from the full narrative. Did they do all of that to make him confess? I thought it seemed that they did this in the hopes that he would solve his mystery and maybe heal from his trauma.

  8. I appreciated the movie because of the book and the books really gets into Teddy's head (horrible place). It was quite an elaborate charade and because I hate to give spoilers, I dare not say anything else ;)


© guiltless readingMaira Gall