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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (54,453 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dennis Lehane Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9780061805080
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Summer, 1954.

US Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.

But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems.

Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe’s radical approach to psychiatry, an approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing?

Or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there?

As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount. The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes and the more they begin to believe that they my never leave Shutter Island.

Because someone is trying to drive them insane.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brilliantly conceived and executed...To read Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island is to enter a nightmare of madness, violence, and deception...Its shocking outcome kept me awake, deep into the night, as I began to grasp what the author has done to my innocent mind—and he will do it to yours, too, if you let him.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Combines the claustrophobia of...Agatha Christie...with the creepiness of a good Stephen King yarn...Good luck putting this one down.”

    San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

  • “Startlingly original…instantly cinematic… unfolds with increasing urgency until it delivers a visceral shock in its final moments.”

    New York Times

  • “Fasten your seat belts for a bumpy, breakneck ride…utterly absorbing…is an express train with no local stops…engrossing.” 

    Boston Globe

  • “The ride this novel provides is as good as entertainment gets.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Audacious and chilling...Shutter Island is a superbly constructed novel that manages to be at once gripping, surprising, and discomforting...It evokes comparisons to Edgar Allan Poe’s tales...Lehane is very good indeed.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “Get ready to shudder on a trip to Shutter Island...a tremendously satisfying thriller...a great, fun read...The suspense is molasses-thick with a plot that will keep you guessing...Lehane has created a dark work with terrific dialogue and a troubled protagonist...And then there’s the ending...Mystic River raised the bar for Lehane; Shutter Island puts it higher still.”

    Denver Post

  • “Nightmarish…it’s not a book to start before bedtime. Even if you finish before dawn, Shutter Island will trouble your sleep.” 

    Orlando Sentinel

  • “Chilling...a perfect thriller. But for mystery writer extraordinare Dennis Lehane, elaborate plots and vivid settings serve as mere backdrop for showcasing his greater talent; a prodigious ability to develop unforgettable, emotionally textured characters.”

    Providence Journal-Bulletin

  • “A terrific suspense novel.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “One difference between simply listening and having a listening experience is Tom Stechschulte. He doesn’t merely perform characters; he channels them. Main characters, doctors, nurses, inmates, and orderlies have believable individual voices and personalities. Lehane twists a devastating hurricane, possible unethical experiments, and enough secrets to justify paranoia into a psychological thriller that works...Stechschulte’s magic makes it work the rest.”

    AudioFile

  • “Another blistering page-turner...A master of the adroit psychological detail, Lehane makes the horrors of the mean streets pale in comparison to the workings of the human mind.”

    Booklist

  • “A lollapalooza of a corkscrew thriller.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A 2004 Anthony Award Finalist for Best Novel
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2004 Barry Award Finalist for Best Novel
  • A 2003 Hammett Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne | 2/13/2014

    " Lehane is a master-- not only of his genre, but of storytelling in general. From its opening pages to its harrowing and unforeseen conclusion, this book is genuinely creepy. Pick it up on a rainy Saturday night, and you won't be able to put it down til the sun rises on Sunday. Guaranteed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kurt Dinan | 2/6/2014

    " Better when it was called THe Ninth Configuration by William Blatty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tanya Eby | 1/29/2014

    " I love this book. I first read work by Lehane when I was in my MFA program and he was one of the instructors. What's great about his stuff is that it is instantly accessible, reads like popular fiction, and then he manages to work in literary, lyrical writing. "Shutter Island" is one of my favorites of his. It feels, at first, like a hard-boiled detective novel, but then it takes you into this dark world of madness and sadness. The characters have histories and are complex. And the twist at the end is shattering. Love this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hilary | 1/27/2014

    " plenty creepy. do not read at home, alone. It's a bad idea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Kerr | 1/22/2014

    " This was brilliantly written. It had me spell - bound from the start. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Traci Hulback | 1/12/2014

    " One of the best books I have ever read. At the end you can't help but to recap the whole story in your head because you are sure you missed something but you didn't. It's exactly what you think it is... But you aren't sure what you think. Excellent book!!' "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Riju Ganguly | 1/9/2014

    " Thrillers, esp. those involving policemen trying to track down some miscreant, are written in the form of an elaborate cat & mouse game. One can even claim that the story unfolds like the adventure of Hansel & Gretel, where we are expected to follow the crumbs (or clues/red herrings/significant matters) to their logical conclusion. But this is no ordinary thriller. I had chanced upon it on an unseasonally rain-swept evening, planning to immerse myself in the traditional cat & mouse game. But what a shock it was! Many authors have excelled in telling tales (esp. mysteries) from the perspective of an unreliable narrator. But this book goes beyond, much beyond those lines. I am being pretty vague in terms of plot or other stuff, but that's because I want you to read the book. I know that after reading the book I had just sat there, for quite some time, and (perhaps, as a result of coming from a country that produces unbelievably large no. of absolute crap movies) then had started thinking whether a movie can be made out of the novel. Within a week I had come to know that a big time movie, directed by one of the biggest names of our time, was in the offing, and was later released to considerable critical acclaim. Serendipity, huh? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patryk | 1/8/2014

    " I just finished reading Shutter Island, which was a good book. I think that it is more on the challenging side to read because of the vocabulary used and the amount of detail. I also found that it took me a long time to read Shutter Island, but that is probably because I'm a slow reader. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 1/7/2014

    " The end can have a 4 I guess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Norris Eppes Eppes | 11/13/2013

    " Incredible. I could not put this book down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria (Discuss It Book Group) | 11/8/2013

    " `Shutter Island` won the first Discuss It Book Group vote, back in September 2010 and generated a really fascinating discussion. As a group, we rated this novel 3.7 our of 5. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 10/19/2013

    " One of the few cases where I felt the movie was better than the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vonda | 9/27/2013

    " Read it in two days. Couldn't put it down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam Shooks | 9/25/2013

    " Nicely written. Interesting concept relevant to the 1950's. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Brown | 9/4/2013

    " I enjoyed the book. I really wish I hadn't already seen the movie when i read it. i think i would have enjoyed it more. But really a very good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maryanna | 4/14/2013

    " I had to read the book twice and see the movie once before I could grasp the content -- excellent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lhinton | 2/28/2013

    " Really good book! Read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 12/28/2012

    " The plot was predictable, but I liked the book. It had a good ending and I liked the main characters. Not amazing, but an interesting enough read. I read this on my way to Japan, and it did help me avoid some of the boredom of a twelve hour flight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne Parkington | 12/17/2012

    " If they say your crazy .. how do you prove your not ..?? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Spencer | 10/3/2012

    " Creepy. In a good way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 9/5/2012

    " I liked it but it had so many twists and turns! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 7/23/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book; hard to put down so it was a quick read. Fast paced and good twists to keep the suspense going. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 5/11/2012

    " Finished a couple weeks ago. Really good, especially Lehane's dialogue. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridget Klassen | 3/2/2012

    " Amazing! This book was extremely captivating, and I loved it more than the movie. Then again, you always like the thing you consumed first before watching the other, even if the movie came after the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sweet | 1/16/2012

    " what a great read. I love mysteries and thrillers and this one kept me guessing until the last page! great plot, characters and world building. Definitely a must read if you love this genre. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 11/14/2011

    " really loved this one. The movie was also spot on. Psychological thriller takes place on a island with an insane asylum. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheri | 10/6/2011

    " Amazing book!! Could not put it down. Read it now! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melanie Call | 6/12/2011

    " This book is also on my list of books I plan to re-read. It was a great thriller for a book. I read it before the movie came out, with Leonardo DiCaprio. As handsome as he is, and a wonderful actor, I prefer the book. It definitely had you on the edge of you seat wondering just what was going on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 5/22/2011

    " Yes, the movie was r-rated. It looked like a horror movie. So not! Suspense and surprising, keeps you guessing, loving or hating each character. Some swearing. Really really good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggysue | 5/19/2011

    " Hard to get into the book. I thought the movie version was better which usually isn't the case. Not a bad read all in all though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 5/17/2011

    " Enjoyed this book immensely, but can't say a word for fear of giving something away! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 5/12/2011

    " Good book - very interesting and suspensful (but not scary). My only caution is that there is a lot of swearing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 5/9/2011

    " Read the book, the movie does not do this book justice. It's a wonderfully written book of suspense and mystery. I loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 5/8/2011

    " Somone let me borrow this and it got me through a flight from Philly to Las Vegas. I recommend reading it before watching the movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dee | 5/6/2011

    " Not bad, I would read more of Dennis Lehane, but it was very confusing at the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Egle | 5/4/2011

    " very confusing, but also very interesting. ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 5/3/2011

    " almost wish i had watched the movie before i read the book because i knew exactly what was coming so it was a spoiler but the book was great! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betsy | 5/1/2011

    " It wasn't what I call a mystery just weird. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandi | 4/30/2011

    " This is a great read. I had seen the movie before reading the book so I knew where it was going but even so, it was such an interesting story. "

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About the Author
Author Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane is the author of eleven novels, including several New York Times bestsellers , as well as a collection of short stories and a play. Mystic River was a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award, and it won the Anthony Award, the Barry Award for Best Novel, and the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction, given by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

About the Narrator

Tom Stechschulte has narrated well over a hundred audiobooks and has won sixteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2009 and has been a finalist for the Audie in 2005 and 2011. As an actor, he has been seen in eleven Broadway shows as well as numerous television and film shows, including the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.