Shutter Island By Dennis Lehane

  I did things the wrong way round – I saw the film, then read the book. Actually I watched the film about five times before I read the book. The film was almost identical – a very rare thing which we are all aware of. This makes my reading tainted. I hear the voices of Leonardo Dicaprio and Mark Ruffalo as I was reading it and did not have to make up these images or voices myself.

However, onto the actual book. Teddy Daniels (Dicaprio) and Chuck Aule (Ruffalo) are arriving at Shutter Island – an island of the coast of Massachusetts which holds the most severe cases of Forensic Psychiatric Patients (criminally insane). Set in the 1950’s  you get a feel of the turn of the tide in psychiatric care, the introduction of anti-psychotics and newer therapies but still the evidence of the horrors of past ‘care’ and the prevalent psycho-surgery of the time.

A patient has escaped. There is a storm which wrecks the island. Teddy and Chuck are trapped. More and more suspicion,  more and more mystery, more and more enticing. The book grips you and reels you in. A psychological thriller with twists and turns that I did not see.

Okay so you can tell – I liked the film and the book. But the book didn’t have as much of a kick as it would have if I had read it first. I am not wanting to have any spoilers here but I came to a different conclusion at the end than what my partner did. I have never investigated this but either way we both enjoyed it.

SO here is what I would say – Loved it! Would read again! But having seen the film the book doesn’t have the ‘spark’ that it would have done if read first.

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers this is for you. If you have seen the film you won’t get much from the book. So read the book first before you watch the film!

5 out of 5

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