Friday, January 14, 2022

Book Review: Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Pages: 304
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: September 7, 2021
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: Library
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Think you know the person you married? Think again… Things have been wrong with Mr and Mrs Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, it might be just what their marriage needs. Self-confessed workaholic and screenwriter Adam Wright has lived with face blindness his whole life. He can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife.  Every anniversary the couple exchange traditional gifts – paper, cotton, pottery, tin – and each year Adam’s wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. They both know this weekend will make or break their marriage, but they didn’t randomly win this trip. One of them is lying, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after. Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. And an anniversary they will never forget. Rock Paper Scissors is the latest exciting domestic thriller from the queen of the killer twist, New York Times bestselling author Alice Feeney."



Amelia and Adam have an unhappy marriage. It wasn't always this way, but things aren't great between them currently. When she wins a weekend away to a remote Scottish Highland rental, she thinks that this is what will fix their marriage.  They will have time together and Adam won't be glued to his phone or thinking about work, especially because Amelia (stole!) made sure he won't bring his phone with him. On the way there, they encounter a horrible snowstorm which puts them both on edge and on top of it, the rental is just strange. It's cold, it's has erratic electricity, it's a semi-converted old chapel, and it's straight up creepy. There's a dilapidated crypt of some sort, creepy stained glass windows, and locked rooms.  Need I say more? So, maybe this isn't what Amelia had in mind for a romantic weekend and even Adam is starting to think this is a bust.  The narration jumps between present day via Amelia and Adam's perspectives, and also includes letters written to Adam on their various anniversaries, which provides readers with a back story to their tumultuous relationship.  Rock Paper Scissors is a crazy roller coaster ride that kept me guessing.  Will they stay together? How exactly did Amelia win this weekend away? Who is the caretaker of this rental? Which character is straight up crazy or who is the unreliable narrator? So many questions! And, boy, was I surprised to find out the answers.

Amelia, at first, sort of tugs on your heartstrings in Rock Paper Scissors. She is clearly not ok mentally at times, suffers from asthma (which her anxiety exasperates), and she desperately wants attention from her husband, at least I think.  I wasn't entirely sure I could trust her, but I did feel badly for her as this weekend away is turning into a nightmare. Through their letters readers get to know the couple all the way back to the beginning, which at some point it seemed happy, although there were some red flags.

Adam is a difficult character to figure out in Rock Paper Scissors. He has a face blindness disorder, which means he can't identify people and this proves to be a life-long issue as it impacts him greatly.  His job is fascinating though as a screenwriter and how that plays out for him was very interesting, if depressing at times, because of how wrapped up in it he is.  He is obviously hiding secrets regarding his past as well as a few other things, and I didn't really see it coming.  If you are an avid reader of Feeney's novels, you may be able to pick up on things a bit better than I did.  However, I am glad I was clueless and went into it without trying to question or solve every little problem, because it was a fun ride.

Feeney is an impressive writer and I can see why critics refer to her as a the queen of the plot twist. I am not an avid thriller reader, but when I do read them, if done well, I am always blown away and that is the case with Rock Paper Scissors. Once Feeney revealed the truth, I was thinking, "oh, wait a minute." I had to process everything all over again, mostly because I couldn't believe it, and was surprised how she pulled the rug out from underneath me.  With that said, I was very impressed and can't wait to see how this book translates to the TV screen as it's coming to Netflix.

This is the perfect thriller to curl up with this winter! Have you read Rock Paper Scissors? Are you a fan of Alice Feeney? Let me know in the comments. I might have to pick up her other novels, so let me know if you have read them and which ones you recommend as well.



  1. I haven't read this but now I'm intrigued!

    1. It is really good! I hope you get a chance to read it. Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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