Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane

[asa left]B000F5FR0S[/asa] Once in a while a book comes along that just transcends any praise you can think up for it. Lehane has done that with this newest novel. It’s really a shame that it has to be classified as anything in particular — mystery, thriller, whatever you call it, it goes beyond that. I’m not going to say anything at all the plot, because this is one of those novels you should read knowing nothing at all ahead of time.

I write novels for a living. I’m pretty successful at it even, and that’s partially because I can handle a plot and understand something about the importance of subtlety and leading the reader toward unexpected turns. But I’ll never pull off something like this. I can think of a very few authors (living or dead) who could. The combination of tremendously fine-tuned plotting and beautiful prose and a truly heart-rending characterization (because there are elements of the classical tragedy in this that ring in perfect pitch) is a rare accomplishment indeed.