Shaun has been institutionalized, condemned to Agronaville Mental Health Center by his traumatic past. As the story opens he is hiding in his room, awkwardly barricaded against the orderlies and patients by nothing more than the strength of his bed frame. He claims to be Getting Better, and even if he seems a bit paranoid, who wouldn't be under those circumstances?
For the most part, the young man comes across as a sympathetic character, abused and betrayed by the system that was supposed to heal him. When he's summoned to his first group therapy session, something doesn't quite seem right, but attendance is not voluntary. As we listen to the other patients explain why they were committed, we begin to understand a bit more about why Shaun is there. His violent hallucinations regarding the patients are as shocking as they are vivid, but what really makes the story so unsettling is the way in which we come to understand his justifications.
Of course, we do get to understand a bit of why Shaun is there as well, just before he heads back to his room for lunch.
There are two twists upon which the story hangs, one of which I suspected, but the other completely blind-sided me (kudos to Tyr Kieran for that!). They both come just before the end, and to say they alter our perspective of the story is an understatement. They're not cheap, and you don't feel cheated by them, which is why they work so well. Instead, they send a chill down your spine, making you doubt yourself almost as much as you doubt Shaun.
Short, but effective, this is a great read.