“Sometimes I feel like I need to check out of life the way other people check out of hotels. Sign whatever I need to sign, hand back the keys to the life I am living, and find somewhere new.” ~ Alice Feeney, Rock Paper Scissors.
Things have been wrong between Mr. and Mrs. Wright for a long time. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away in the Scottish Highlands, it might be just what their marriage needs. Neither was picturing spooky Blackwater Chapel, a dilapidated, freezing cold, converted stone chapel, complete with hidden passages, a crypt, a bell tower, and mysterious locked doors.
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 ten-year 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.
Adam is a sought-after screenwriter who has made his fortune adapting Henry Winter’s bestselling novels for the screen (Think Stephen King). Amelia works at a dog rescue center. Talk about opposites attracting!
Rock Paper Scissors has a fascinating premise. Adam has a psychiatric condition called prosopagnosia and cannot distinguish facial features on people… even himself. At industry shindigs, he counts on his wife to run interference, so he knows who he is talking to. The writing is refreshingly simplistic; the author just tells the story without too much flair. Her chapter titles are inventive, perhaps an unusual facet to mention in a book review, but I really enjoyed them.
So here’s the thing about me. I am a chicken, a scaredy-cat, a sissy, which means I read this psychological thriller with wide eyes. There were plenty of plot twists—some downright terrifying, other tame and predictable. It was hard to get used to the author using “they” or “their” for singular pronouns. Doing so would have precipitated a lot of red ink from my college professors. Times have certainly changed.
Feeny’s latest novel is a creepy, gothic page-turner fans of the genre will enjoy. 4 stars.
Published Date: September 2021
Genre: Psychological suspense
Read-alikes: The Island by Adrian McKinty, The Best Day Ever by Kaira Sturdivant Rouda, Tell Me My Name by Erin Ruddy, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks