Fear, obsession, paranoia...Dennis Lehane's "Shutter Island" is the stuff nightmares are made of. It is noir psychological suspense at its finest.
An isolated island, a raging hurricane, a locked room, secret codes, a mental hospital, rumors of mysterious medical experiments frame the story.
It is a scary, deceptive, disorienting, complex story grounded in the reality of the times...cold war USA in 1954 ("I like Ike").
Mr. Lehane weaves many threads throughout the unpredictable plot. The set up is thorough and the characters are fully developed. The twists and turns play havoc with your mind.
The unexpected is the norm...a couple of times I was able to figure something out a page and a half before it was revealed, but that was rare. The ending is unguessable.
Immediately upon finishing, I reread the prolog and final chapter...and will read this book again. I have not been so dumbfounded by an ending since William Diehl's "Primal Fear."
"Shutter Island" is etched in my memory.