Book Reviews of Shutter Island

Shutter Island
Shutter Island
Author: Dennis Lehane
ISBN-13: 9780380731862
ISBN-10: 038073186X
Publication Date: 4/2004
Pages: 400
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 417 ratings
Publisher: HarperTorch
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

88 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Shutter Island on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 17
Abandon all expectations ye who enter here!!!

Is there a book that you possibly read 10, 15, maybe 20 years ago that is still ingrained in your memory today? When you think about the book, perhaps you won't be able to recall passages from the book; what most stands out in your memory is THE ENDING?

I picked up this book after reading the inside front pages that contained praises from renown sources. I mean, after all, would you read a book that got 5 stars from the Ridgemont High School Monthly, or some similar obscure media source? Neither would I. But this book had reputable names, and they all spoke about the ending. So I took the bait and began reading.

I was not disappointed; on the contrary, I was deeply affected by this book. I can honestly say, this book will still be a vivid memory 20 years from now, when I am recalling great books I have read. Yes, its that good.

The book begins with two federal marshals investigating the disappearance of a violent criminal from a high security hospital located on a remote island. To say any more about the plot would be to ruin the surprise that awaits the uninitiated.

I can say this: as the story progresses, the author throws in such a wicked twist and pulls out the rug from under you that you will be tempted to reread the entire book. Trying to guess what all the hype and acclaim is about is futile. Surrender yourself to this book and enjoy the ride.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I absolutely loved this book! It keeps you guessing right to the end. It is a real page turner and you will not want to put the book down until you finish it!! I highly recommend it!!
reviewed Shutter Island on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is my first Lehane book. I have seen Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone and loved them both. Being from Boston, I enjoy reading and watching the work of fellow natives. Wow!! This book was great! I actually had to re-read the last two chapters!!! Just like Lehane to knock your socks off with a wrenching twist in the end!!! CANNOT wait for the movie due out in February '10!
reviewed Shutter Island on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A brilliant novel, in my opinion. After the success of 'Mystic River', I think a lot of people disregarded this novel as pop fiction. I'd just call it a hell of a read.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
From Dennis Lehane comes an unusual and disturbing story, more of a psychological thriller than Lehane's typical mysteries. Shutter Island is the story of U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck. The two are sent to a maximum security asylum for the most violent patients on a remote island to recapture a missing patient. As it becomes clear that the patient could not have escaped without inside help, and no one on the island will give a straight answer, the mystery is far more complicated than either expected.

When Chuck disappears and Daniels begins to uncover secrets darker than anything he imagined, it seems that the two may never leave the island- and may never have been meant to.

Lehane weaves plot, character and atmosphere together seamlessly. He creates the spooky, isolated atmosphere of the island so well you can see it when you close your eyes. The lead characters are sympathetic and engaging, the supplementary ones shifty and mysterious. And the plot is peppered with the kind of clues that you see only in retrospect. Conversations and events that you never thought would be significant become glaringly obvious and reasonable once all the mystery is revealed. And the mystery itself is haunting, unsettling and unforgettable.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 758 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a good story, well done, but having read the reviews I was a little disappointed. After all the talk about the twist, I guess I was looking for it and I could see where it was going (if not the specifics of how it would arrive there) early on. But if you picked it up knowing nothing, it is a very intense story and still a pretty riveting read.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
One of my most favorite books of all time. This book will blow you away. I don't want to give anything away but I will say it's murder investigation that starts at a prison on Shutter Island. You won't be able to stop reading so save it for a rainy Sunday or something. It is great!
reviewed Shutter Island on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was so much fun to read. All kinds of twists and turns, you didn't know who or what to believe! A quick read.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This suspenseful and finely written novel by Lehane is definitely a page turner with all sorts of plot twists and an unforgettable ending that seems almost dream like.
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Helpful Score: 1
Maybe I've read too many books with twists and turns, but this one wasn't surprising to me at all. I think the author telegraphed what he's going to do within the first 100 pages, I just waited for it to show up. Nice writing though, very atmospheric.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A period piece of the 50's with quite a twist at the end.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 126 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A suspenseful thriller with mind-bending twists. The madness and deception is like a bad nightmare!!
reviewed Shutter Island on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
While I'm not sure I think it rates the pages and pages of acclaim that were at the front of my copy or the most glowing of reviews already posted here, I did enjoy this book -- the first by Lehane that I have read. It was a well-crafted and compelling read -- I kept coming back to it eagerly whenever I had reading time during a few very busy days, and that in itself says a lot.

I do feel that when it comes to end-of-the-story developments there is sometimes a fine line between an effective twist and a cheap trick, and, to me, this story skated a little much in the direction of the latter -- but all-in-all, Lehane pulls it off and wraps up an exciting and satisfying read.
reviewed Shutter Island on
Helpful Score: 1
With the film approaching, I was interested in reading the book. This book is so visual! I found it difficult to put down, because of the many OMG moments that would occur. I was truly enthralled by the tale. From the scenes that I've seen in the trailer, it looks like the director lifted dialog straight from the book. That's a good thing, because of the witty remarks made by one particular character. These remarks helped lighted the mood of the story. Comic relief helps relieve the tension that builds. And.....the tension does build.

This book is a satisfying, scary read.
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One of the best "twist" endings in quite a while!
I think what I liked most about the book is it takes place a few decades back, which makes all the surprises in the novel stand out even more. I can't explain more without giving too much away!
reviewed Shutter Island on + 8 more book reviews
Shutter Island is a well written thriller with a good combination of mystery, creepiness, puzzles, and plot twists. It started slow, and gradually picked up steam. About half way through I was so hooked I couldn't put it down (I actually had a notepad to work on the puzzles but I guess I'm probably just a dork). The ending is fairly successful(and somewhat inevitable) but not entirely satisfying to me. Overall, I find the Kenzie/Gennaro series to be a considerably more satisfying read.
reviewed Shutter Island on
Definitely a great summer read -- this book was hard to put down and left me mulling over the plot for many nights after reading it. Anyone who enjoys a great mystery or suspense would enjoy this book for sure. I haven't seen the film version yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing it now that I've read the novel. (Of course the books are always better than the film versions, in my opinion!)
reviewed Shutter Island on + 86 more book reviews
WOW!! This book is absolutely fantastic!

I had no idea what the book was about when I picked it up - only that it had been made into a movie. So a few days ago, I had started and put down two other books, and then picked this one up. I didn't have high hopes, because I just was in a reading funk - and it grabbed me right away! I didn't get much reading done yesterday, but today, I just kept on going until I finished it.

In a nutshell- Teddy, a U.S. Marshall, lands on Shutter Island to help track down a patient who has escaped from the hospital there - a hospital for the criminally insane. He and his partner quickly realize that they are being lied to at every turn, and are determined to solve the mystery of the hospital, as well as the missing woman. At the same time, Teddy must also face some demons of his own past.

Lots of intrigue, a great mystery, and fascinating characters and setting - this book is a gripping page-turner.
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I went into this without having read any of the reviews, and had no lofty expectations as I had never read any of D.Lehane's work,though I did see(& enjoy)the Mytic River movie. What a pleasant surprise this was! Definitely a page-turner with well defined characters & plot twists galore. Best read in awhile. Five stars
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A good thriller that keeps you guessing with plot twists and turns.
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This book has soooo many twists and turns right from the begining that it leaves you wanting to *help* solve the crime, and is full of suspense, so much so that I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting--the ending SHOCKED me like no other book ever has---and it WILL shock you too. A great author and an even GREATER story!
reviewed Shutter Island on + 91 more book reviews
This book is very atmospheric and contains some dark characters and an abundance of twists and turns.
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Thought this book was a real page turner. The story flew by and left you wondering what will happen next. However, that was until you got to the last couple of chapters of the book and then I was confused as to what was happening. I think I've got it all figured out now, but I really was not satisfied with the ending. I picked up this book in anticipation of the movie release in Feb. I'm interested in how they interpret the ending.
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Absolutely fabuous book, total roller coaster ride. Very real and believable characters.
reviewed Shutter Island on
After hearing about the movie being filmed down the street from me, I thought I would get Shutter Island and read it before I saw the movie (because I truly believe movies cannot capture all the details of the book).

When I started reading it, I literally could not put this book down, read it in 24 hours. After reading Mystic River I knew that there must be a twist involved and was looking for it as I was reading. Needless to say I was completely blown away at the end (just as I was with Mystic River). The story and writing is amazing and as another reviewer mentioned about wanting to reread it, I think I just might if only to look at everything from a different perspective. Definitely 5 stars and very highly recommended to anyone who was a fan of Mystic River. Just be prepared to want to finish it in 1 sitting.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 12 more book reviews
This book was excellent! Held my interest through the whole book and definitely kept me guessing. You wont see the ending coming, but after you read it, you will think you should have. Highly recommend
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What a great book! Stay alert and on your toes while reading this book. Nothing is as it appears and you will find yourself flipping back pages to see if you missed something. Not a good bedtime book because it is impossible to put down about halfway through. You will love it.
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I read this book a while ago and enjoyed it immensely. Since learning that it is being made into a movie with Leonardo Dicaprio I decided to revisit the book and enjoyed reading it just as much even though I knew the outcome.
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I'd heard so much about this book, just had to read it. I agree that it was interesting, the forensic psychiatry etc, though not enough of that for my taste. (Not a criticism, just a comment on what I would have liked.) Well-plotted, a nice twist, that I'm sure some really astute folks would have picked up on as the clues were there. Author did a nice job. I think if I hadn't heard so much hype about it, the great ending, I wouldn't have been disappointed like I was. But worth a read if you like mysteries.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 636 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book quite a bit! It was well-written, with great characters (judging from the preview, I think that the movie has been well-cast). The plot held unpredictable twists and turns, but the ending was not quite what I was hoping for... I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. Still, the book, overall, was a great read with a real atmosphere.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 275 more book reviews
I always like to try and figure out were the author is going with his story but I didn't see this one coming...... A very surprise ending with a good story that keeps your interest. A US marshall is sent to Shutter Island, home of a hospital for the Criminally insand, to investigate the disappearance of a patiend. Muliple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance.
reviewed Shutter Island on
While this boook departs from his usual police procedural, Lehane proves himself a master in this genre as well -- and a master at recreating the ambience of the post-Cold War era. Lehane's (relatively young)ear for dialogue puts me in mind of another master, Elmore Leonard, which -- given the age difference -- suggests that in years to come Lehane may surpass Leonard. Lehane's tight, economic style (a welcome change from authors who over-explain, thereby both insulting and annoying the reader) works particularly well in this book, keeping readers on their toes and expecting the unexpected. He even manages to use a somewhat trite device, a huge storm that conveniently strands everyone on the island, in a believable way. Another reviewer referred to "Shutter Island" as "un-put-downable," and I agree.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 92 more book reviews
The story is intriguing,the action is bountiful and the end is quite a surprise. It's not as unputdownable as Gone Baby Gone,which I read in about three days, this took me somewhat longer to get into it but I like the characters and red herrings. The setting of the Criminal Asylum in the 50's didn't hurt either, in the end a pretty satisfying read.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 82 more book reviews
This book is good, but I just had to stop half way through just creeped me out too much. Maybe you will get into it more than I did.
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I usually don't read mystery/psychological thriller type books because I almost always figure out whats going ahead of time. This book was an exception for me. It kept me guessing until the end and I was engrossed in it! I finished reading it in two days (which isn't unusual for me--but the funny thing is, I really wanted to finish it in one. I made myself stop 2/3 of the way through it. I try to read one chapter a night, but this book wouldn't allow me to do that. Excellent writing, suspenseful and perfectly mapped out by the author. A MUST read!
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Great book! Suspenseful and exciting. I was blown away by the ending!
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Excellent writing, tight plot, good background. I am definitely seeing the movie. Lehane is best when read, though. No movie can capture his details.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 14 more book reviews
an excellent mystery book that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. A noir tale that veers into some horrifying moments. A locked-door mystery to boot. I can't imagine the movie topping this one. Highly recommended.
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Nice to read something where the resolution is entirely unpredictable.
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Loved this book! Great plot line, and the story sucks you in.
reviewed Shutter Island on
Kept me interested from the start and has some nice twists.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 348 more book reviews
Really mysterious - setting, characters, events - and an ending that you can't see coming!
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I've read a lot of books and love books with lots of twists. The best ones are those that you don't see coming. Some authors are great at it; others... well you can figure out the twist just by the way they write. But this mind-blowing twist was so unexpected that I read the rest of the book with my jaw dropped. Great book; incredible character development. A must-read!
reviewed Shutter Island on + 72 more book reviews
Fabulous book! An interesting and unique story. Gripping. A definite page-turner.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 16 more book reviews
This was an interesting tale from Dennis Lehane. I was only familiar with Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone as films. This was his first novel that I read. I picked it up for $1 at a used book store. I could not put it down. The story is compelling and twisted. I cannot wait to see what DiCaprio and Scorsese can do with this source material.
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Shutter Island ... home of Ashecliff Hospital for the Criminally Insane. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed ...because nothing at Ashecliff Hospital is what it seems.
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Held my interest throughout. Well written with a surpise at the end but looking back possibly should have seen it coming. It did keep me guessing for a while. Worth reading and will probably read another of LeHane's books in future.
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The book was good. I found it a little slow, but the twist at the end blew my mind!
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Very well written and quite the story ending. Enjoyed it.
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Exciting psychological suspense. This is my first Dennis Lehane novel and I was not disappointed.
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I found this book to be somewhat disturbing in the final consensus. It was a good read and I did not want to put it down. Characters were quite interesting as well as the place of the novel. I would read more of Dennis Lehane novels. Very intriguing. This book was dark and had a great ending.
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It had some nice twists and turns I did not see coming. It's nice not to know the ending 2 chapters in.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 907 more book reviews
Yikes--who's crazy now!!! This was a mind twister and if you sit down to start this book take the dog out first cuz it is hard to put down. Kinda makes you look at people and wonder how sane your neighbor is. Ending was not seen coming--love that!! Would like to have dinner with this author. Great intense read.
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This was a great read. Lots of good plot turns and unexpected ending. I highly recommend!
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I LOVED this book! It's creepy and paranoid and very atmospheric. I've recommended it to all my friends, most of whom read and loved it too. If you haven't read it and like dark thrillers, you are in for a real treat.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 242 more book reviews
Great plot twists. Well drawn characters....couldn't put this book down. It's about 2 U.S. Marshalls assigned to find a missing inmate at "Shutter Island" which houses a hospital for the criminally insane. The Marshalls start suspecting some kind of plot involving psychosurgery as an experiment upon the inmates. Answers reveal themselves as the search goes on and the reader is left with as much as a mystery as the Marshalls themselves. The end result is a whopper! If looking for an excellent mystery/suspense thriller, this is it. I've never read Lehane before but he's now on my list of authors to read.
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Twist. Turns. 360's and backtracking, this book has it all and more. Totally engrossing from the start, story is alive, engaging and makes your root for the good guys or so you think. This is one that will stay with you for a long time, making you think and rethink what you know is real. The ending is mind blowing. Well done.
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This book was a crazy suspensful ride. I couldn't put it down. DOn't blink in the last 40 pages you will miss the big twist. Now to see the movie.
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An excellent book! Our book club is still talking about the ending!
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This story concerns a US Marshall and the mentally ill.The answers come in the last few pages.
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I thought this book started a bit slow and wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it. Boy was I wrong!! It really surprised me and I thoroughly enjoyed it! A friend turned me on to Lehane and I love his books. I was interested in reading Mystic River because I liked the movie but his other books are even better. This one is definitely my favorite so far.
reviewed Shutter Island on + 4 more book reviews
I requested this book for my permanent library. I have read it in the past and thought it was an excellent thriller. I can't wait to see the movie. I give this book five stars.
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Great story telling, from the same author of "Mystic River".
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loved this book couldn't put it down
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This is one great psychological roller coaster of twists and turns. This one messed with my mind! Excellent writing down to the tiniest detail. A fantastically twisted ride. I'm interested to see how the movie compares.
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The year is l954. U. S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades--with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. But neither is Teddy Daniels.
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Couldn't put this book down. Put this one on your list of books to read. Looking forward to reading more of Dennis Lehane's books.
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Its twists and turns will have you questioning all the assumptions you made at the beginning of the story.
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Avery quick paced and fascinating read. Lehane travels back in time to the early 1950s for this book, and it provides an interesting peek into the mindset of post ww2 vets as well as the treatment of mental health then, which was on the cusp of changing from lobotomies and locking people away, to pharmacology.

E twists and turns will keep you guessing until the last page, then thinking and guessing some more! Well worth a read.
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Loved this book! Part thriller, part mind-bender, this is what good books should be! It's a real page turner, and is a great ride.
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Good read. Couldn't put it down.
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An island for the insane. A marshall must try to solve a murder. Plot twist at the end. Very good.
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starts out to be a very good thriller and turns out to be a GREAT thiller that grabs you and takes you to a surprising and chilling ending.
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This book is very good with a suprising twist at the end!!
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Excellent book with great surprise ending!
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All I can say about this book is "WOW!" A good mystery story with a wild plot twist. Don't let anyone spoil the ending for you! Different from Lehane's "Mystic River", but terrific in its own way.
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Great summer read!
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Excellent read.
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This book flew by. I was entertained, and read a good chunk while missing the scenery on a gorgeous drive to New Mexico. I love stories about asylums so this was perfect! But I have to admit that I was disappointed by the ending. At one point I looked up from the book and wondered where the heck it was going. Then a few pages later I found out and groaned. In theory it's a great ending but since I've seen this ending done before it seemed almost cliche.
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Intriguing story of psych prison.
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good twists
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Read by my husband who is new to novel reading, but like this book.
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wierd story keep you wondering
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loved it.
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D-4 A-1 R-18 E-5