Author: Dennis Lehane
Publisher: William Morrow (Harper Collins)
Pub. Date: March 26, 2003 (hardcover); August 25, 2009 (movie tie-in)
My reaction to this book isn't quite fair. A friend of mine accidentally spoiled the ending (of the movie) before I read the book. She didn't directly tell me how it ended. She just, forgetting I hadn't seen the movie yet, made a random comment about it that led me to take a pretty good guess about it. Turns out I wasn't quite right in guessing the ending, but this tidbit of information beforehand left me spending the entire reading experience thinking about it rather than focusing on the story itself.
It's 1954 and U.S. Marshalls Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule head to a remote island to investigate a missing patient at the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. There they learn about the sordid past of the patient and of the hospital. During their visit, a hurricane imposes itself on the island, adding to the overall creepy, dark, and ominous factor throughout this book. And then, of course, they learn there's a whole lot more to the hospital and island than they could have ever known. And soon it's questionable whether they can even leave without going crazy themselves! This book had so many great aspects:
- Atmosphere: Super creepy. Surrounds the story and the reader. Adds a whole layer to the story.
- Mystery: So what is it with this crazy patient? And the hospital? And the Island? And with all the strange people?
- Thrills: Speaks for itself.
- Surprise: Don't get too comfortable. Things get Crazy!