Shutter Island is a psychological thriller/mystery written by Dennis Lehane. In 2010 a film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio was released.


In 1954 U.S. Marshal Teddy and his new partner Chuck are on a ferry going to Shutter Island, which is the home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the disappearance of a patient named Rachel Solando. Throughout the book, Teddy and Chuck interview patients and faculty to find out what happened the night Rachel disappeared. They follow clues that she has left behind in her room and explore the island as well as try to find out what happened to a patient that was kept in a locked cell on a desolate island with constant supervision.

The Story:

Edward “Teddy” Daniels goes to the Island to find a missing patient but also confides in Chuck that he also wants to avenge the death of his wife, Dolores who died two years prior at the hands of Andrew Laeddis, who is also an inmate at the hospital. While on the Island, a hurricane hits forcing Teddy and Chuck to take shelter for a few days. During this time, they investigate Ward C, which Teddy believes is where the government is experimenting with psychotropic drugs. While returning to the main hospital Teddy and Chuck are separated and Teddy discovers a cave, where a woman claiming to be a psychiatrist and Rachel Solando warns him about the other residents and tells him that the food and medication have been laced with psychotropic drugs. Upon returning to the hospital, he cannot find Chuck and is told that he had no partner. Teddy escapes and tries to rescue Chuck who he believes is at the lighthouse where the experiments are taking place. When Teddy gets to the lighthouse, he is confronted by doctors and the truth gets revealed.

The Characters:

The characters in Shutter Island are very mysterious and interesting. I don’t want to go into too many details with each one because I might give away too much but I will give a brief run down of the ones that I think are the most important.

Edward “Teddy” Daniels is a U.S. Marshal and widower. He goes to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a female inmate and to also get revenge against his wife’s murderer, who is also an inmate at the hospital. He takes the trip with his new partner and soon discovers that everything is not what it seems.

Chuck Aule is Teddy’s new partner. While on the ferry he learns from Teddy that his wife died two years prior in a fire. After reaching the island, Teddy confides in Chuck that his wife’s murderer is a patient in the hospital and that he wants to find him.

Dr. John Cawley is the lead psychiatrist. He refuses to turn over medical records and tells Teddy and Chuck that Ward C is off limits. He also informs them that Rachel Solando’s doctor left to go on vacation right after her disappearance.

Dolores Chanal is Teddy’s dead wife. She was killed by a fire set by Andrew Laeddis, a patient at Ashecliff.

Rachel Solando is the female patient that went missing. She is at Ashecliffe Hospital because she drowned her three children. Before escaping the hospital she leaves codes in her room, which Teddy and Chuck find while investigating their first day on the island.

Andrew Laeddis is an arsonist who set a fire that killed Teddy’s wife, Dolores. He is an inmate at Ashecliffe and the reason that Teddy took the assignment in the first place.

The Writing/Author:

The writing of Shutter Island is amazing in my opinion. The characters are so dynamic and complex. The story moves along smoothly without anything thrown in that doesn’t need to be there. Everything is described and explained in detail but not to the point where it takes an entire page to describe what someone or something looks like. The book was mysterious, thrilling, sad, exciting, entertaining and surprising all at the same time. I love that the ending was a total shock to me. This is the first book that I have read by Dennis Lehane but it is definitely not the last.


Surprisingly I didn’t have any issues with this book at all. I loved the writing and the characters. I loved the suspense and shock of everything that happened. I also watched the movie after reading the book and I didn’t have any issues with that either. I think they stayed true to the story and the characters. I loved them both.


I loved this book. From beginning to end, it was a thrilling mystery with a shocking twist ending. I give it 5 stars and recommend everyone to read it if you haven’t already.

That’s my book review for Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. I hope everyone liked it and goes out and picks it up.

Keep Reading…Lola


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