This time, as with Patricia, we’re not with Dennis’s normal cast. No Kinsey. No girl friend. This a completely different scene, except that Shutter Island is a place off the coast of Massachusetts, almost within sight of Boston, where Lehane’s money mysteries take place.
What we’ve got is a pair of federal marshals sent to investigate the escape of a prisoner/patient on an island which is an asylum for the criminally insane. Time: early 1950’s, which is important for the state of medical science at the time and because the marshals have recent memories of WWII service which is relevant–even essential–to the action. The investigation becomes many-layered not only for the investigators, but for the reader, as Shutter Island’s reigning doctors and wardens go from good guys to bad guys and back again. Ditto the protagonists. I’m not qualified to judge whether the paranoid schizophrenia would actually take all the different forms it does in Shutter Island, but I do feel qualified to say that Lehane makes it all believable in the context of the action, which is to me what matters most. I don’t think a book has ever flipped me as many times as this one did. And it’s an early one (1993). Guess I’m addicted. One of my more harmless obsessions.