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Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
Thriller

Rock Paper Scissors

by Alice Feeney

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Quick take

When a remote anniversary getaway turns eerie, a couple learns if their marriage can bear the weight of their secrets.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unreliable

    Unreliable narrator

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Writerlife

    Writer's life

Synopsis

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.

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Why I love it

Suspense is always my go-to genre—I love the fast-pace, the puzzle-solving aspect, the mysteries hidden inside the story, and also the mysteries hidden inside other people. And wow does Rock Paper Scissors take all of these elements to a whole new level. This is an absolutely propulsive read, brimming with atmosphere and full of surprises.

This is the story of Adam and Amelia Wright, a married couple on the brink. Adam, a successful screenwriter, lives with face blindness and cannot recognize those around him. When Amelia wins a weekend getaway to the Scottish Highlands, what begins as a potential romantic weekend to save their marriage instead kicks off an eerie, unsettling sequence of events. Told in multiple points of view, each narrator has a different plan for the weekend, and neither fully trusts the other. The location only increases the suspense: a rumored-to-be haunted, converted chapel in the middle of nowhere, isolated and cut off by an incoming snowstorm. Even reading in the heat of summer, you can feel the cold seeping in, along with a steadily growing dread, as you come to realize the Wrights are not alone....

Rock Paper Scissors is a tense, chilling thriller told both over the course of one unsettling weekend, and also through ten years of anniversary letters interspersed throughout the chapters. With a gothic, atmospheric setting, dueling points of view, and gasp-worthy surprises, this is the type of one-sitting read that will have readers turning pages deep into the night.

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