by Dennis Lehane
I really like Blake's review of this book. Wow.
I read the novel after watching the movie and really enjoyed it. My biggest problem though is that the movie leaves very little of the novel's details out (which is rare), so reading the novel was amazingly familiar territory. Still, it's a fun thriller with a human darkness that Lehane is great at creating. I am only familiar with Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and now Shutter Island (does he have others?) but it has become clear that one of his prevailing themes is child abuse and murder. That's the darkness that I'm talking about. So there is the great thriller aspect -- wily cops, inept cops, unknowing regular folk, really bad criminals, corruption, confusion -- all the things you need to make for small human disasters, but he is also a master at the plot twist. Brilliant.
But underlying the usual thriller motif is this profound tale of loss, guilt, suffering and sometimes redemption. Great stuff.