Cover Image: Rock Paper Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors

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3.5 rounding up. This is a slow burn thriller. Though not always my preference, Alice Feeney did not disappoint. Her writing gets you intrigued in all the small plot points that the twist catches you off guard. Overall, a good read
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A British couple hopes a weekend away gets their fractured marriage back on track in Alice Feeney’s latest domestic thriller, ROCK PAPER SCISSORS.

Adam and Amelia Wright’s marriage isn’t what it used to be. Adam is a workaholic screenwriter obsessed with adapting crime novels from his favorite author, Henry Winter. He’s slowly pulled away from his wife, who he can’t recognize due to his face blindness (Prosopagnosia). Meanwhile, Amelia longs for connection with her husband, who easily sacrifices their relationship to get ahead in his craft.

When Amelia wins a weekend away in the Scottish Highlands, it’s the perfect opportunity to set things right—be it rekindling their lost magic or ending things once and for all. Immediately, however, luck is not on their side as they trudge through a snowstorm with their dog, Bob. Their destination—a converted chapel—is freezing with faulty electricity. Amelia swears she sees someone spying. Then she’s sure she hears someone at night. Then their dog Bob goes missing.

The novel alternates between his & her chapters, as well as annual letters written to Adam on their anniversary. As with Feeney’s other novels, the pacing gradually builds as she draws you in with her unpredictable characters. Suspicion marinates as tension ratchets between the couple, who hide many a secret from each other.

Feeney creates a sinister, cinematic atmosphere, threading through clues you only see in hindsight. True to her name — queen of the twist — she strikes again with a gasp-inducing shocker, delivering a fantastic gothic thriller.

Clever, tightly plotted and brimming with deliciously dark secrets, this is one you shouldn’t miss.
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So intriguing and twisty. I love when I don't see them coming!  It kept me guessing and It's still with me today.
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Blog: The Life & Times of a Book Addict.

Hoping this weekend can help restore what is wrong/missing in their marriage, Amelia and Adam spend a cozy weekend at a remote cabin. It turns out to be not so cozy when a snowstorm traps them in, and suspicious things begin happening at every turn. Just from this part alone, I was excited to read this. The further I read, the more intrigued I was. 

Adam, Amelia, and their mysterious neighbor at their weekend getaway all seem to have something to hide, as well as their own interesting backstory. The book is told through anniversary letters from the past as well as their individual POV’s in the present. Though none of them were very likable, I still enjoyed discovering more about each character. I also enjoyed getting different perspectives in the story. It made things more interesting and fun. The twist in the story was a little surprising, but I wasn’t too impressed with the ending. I thought it was just okay.

However, Rock Paper Scissors was an atmospheric and entertaining story to read. The marriage drama is plenty, everyone is an unreliable narrator, and nothing is as it seems. Although not my favorite of Alice Feeney’s, this was a good story and well written. She knows how to create characters and plots to pull the reader in and have them guessing and second guessing all the way to the end. 

**Though I received this book on behalf of the Publisher, the thoughts and opinions expressed are solely my own.**

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You can't go wrong with an Alice Feeney book! I love her books and devour them at break neck speed. I always say I'm going to read slow and savour them but I just can't. If you are looking for a fast paced thriller than grab this one, and any of her others!
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Started this one and it just wasn't for me - interesting premise but I wasn't super invested or caring about the characters.. Thanks for the opportunity to review.
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Alice Feeney does it again!  She has the reader on edge, wondering what is the truth.  Cleverly written with interspersed narrators of Amelia, Robin and Adam—the reader is thinking that the plot goes in one direction and then it twists and twists again.  All fastened together with that childhood game of Rock, Paper, Scissors; anniversary gifts and letters; horror stories; and Bob the dog.  I was captured and have sought out her other books and eagerly await her coming book Daisy Darker!  You may look at your spouse a little closer to see if there are hidden secrets after reading this stellar novel.  Delicious and delightful.

Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher, Flatiron Books, for an advanced copy of this book.
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I missed download date but I bought a copy and I wasn't sure if this was going to work for me despite the mainly positive rave reviews. And tho at times it was slow and not in a good way, I really loved the setting. The multiple povs we're good and didn't all blend work the same voice and tone. And I'm a big fan of unreliable narrators.
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Thrillers are not my usual genre -- I find many of them to be hit-or-miss or a bit contrived, especially with the use of the "unreliable female protagonist" plot device that so many thrillers have been incorporating.  So enter ROCK PAPER SCISSORS -an interesting new thriller with multiple layers.

I like diving into books blind, so I did not read the synopsis before going in. I love how the story unfolded. I also enjoyed how the author use letters to add a layer of mystery into the story.  From the get-go, we are introduced to the main couple who have many secrets to hide from each other, Add to that is a wintry, desolate atmosphere which creates even more tension. Sh*t goes down as the couple breaks down... 

The first Alice Feeney novel I read was "Mr. and Mrs." which was to me, a misleading title. I think that title would've fit perfectly for this novel in more ways than one. 

This book is a study on relationships. Spousal relationships and relationships with our family members and how this shapes and influences us with our actions. The characters definitely have faults and will infuriate you. Overall, I like how the author put this together. The concepts are not new but the layering and presentation of the story is entertaining.

I read this book via audio and I recommend the amazing audiobook production with Richard Armitage.

Thank you, NetGalley for the E-ARC!
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I wish I had saved this book for when it was cold out (but alas, I read it at the end of summer!) because this would the *the* perfect book to snuggle up with and binge in the winter. The book is so atmospheric and I loved the setting. This book was fast paced and had an excellent twist that I certainly didn't see coming. I love a good unreliable narrator and this book definitely delivered! This book was so gripping and I was constantly trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together as the author was striving me along! I was always questioning if it was Adam or Amelia who set everything into motion and I feel like I changed my mind with every chapter!! I loved how the book slowly revealed secrets to the characters and then to the reader - it felt really unique. Already looking forward to her next book!
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A deliciously twisty thriller! If you like spooky settings and marriage drama, this one is for you! Set in a remote house in Scotland, Rock Paper Scissors follows a couple in crisis after ten years of marriage. It alternates perspectives between the couple, their only neighbor in remote Scotland, and flashbacks in the form of letters written from Amelia to Adam on their anniversary, but never sent. The book is solid throughout, but the ending was particularly perfect in my opinion.

Thank you to Flatiron Books and Netgalley for the review copy! All opinions are my own.
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Adam and Amelia Wright have been having problems for a while. Adam is a busy screenwriter who has face-blindness. Amelia is lonely and misses the husband she married. When Amelia wins a free weekend getaway in Scotland, she thinks it could be a chance for them to reset their marriage. Adam is annoyed, as he needs to work, but he goes, knowing that their marriage may not survive this weekend. The converted chapel where they are staying is isolated and empty when they arrive. At first, it is a relief, but then weird things start to happen almost immediately. The Wrights think that they made a horrible mistake in traveling to such a desolate place. Will they be able to make it back to London? Will they or their marriage survive this weekend?

Alice Feeney - oh my goodness. Rock Paper Scissors is a fast-paced thriller with totally unreliable narrators. There is a bit of a jumpy timeline as Mrs. Wright tells us about each of their wedding anniversaries. It is easy to see where the cracks in their marriage were happening. Neither were perfect and communication did not seem to be their strong suit. In fact, with so many of these domestic thrillers, all would be better if they just talked to each other. When Robin was introduced, I couldn't put it together. I even thought she may be a ghost. I was wrong. CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS

Bottom Line - It is clear to me that Alice Feeney is one of the best in the business. Rock Paper Scissors is so smartly written that it left me speechless. 

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
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Pages: 304
Publication Date: 9/7/2021
Buy it Here! 
Thank you to NetGalley for the book in exchange for an honest review.
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This book kept me guessing until the end. She has a way of pulling you in and not knowing where it’s going. I loved every second of it.
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Heralded as the “queen of the killer twist,” Alice Feeney reigns supreme with ROCK PAPER SCISSORS, a twisted, shocking thriller about what’s wrong with the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Wright, and a pointed reminder that a haunted marriage is just as terrifying as a haunted house.

Amelia and Adam Wright have celebrated several anniversaries together, always adhering to the traditional gifts as decided by Emily Post back in 1922. But lately their marriage has grown stale. Adam, who is diagnosed with prosopagnosia (also known as face blindness) has never been able to recognize his wife’s face, but it wasn’t until recently that she really felt unseen and ignored by him. A workaholic screenwriter, he catapulted to fame when he adapted a book by his favorite author, Henry Winter, a notorious recluse. But in recent years, Adam has struggled to find the same acclaim, and with his own screenplay, Rock Paper Scissors, collecting dust in his desk, he has grown cranky and short-tempered. Desperate to save their marriage, Amelia enrolls them in couples’ therapy and whisks Adam away to Scotland when she wins a vacation package at an office holiday party.

After a tumultuous eight-hour drive through a harsh storm, Amelia, Adam and their dog, Bob, arrive at Blackwater, a converted chapel tucked away in a wintery village. But the idyllic retreat they had in mind quickly falls away when they discover a few things: Blackwater is abandoned and decidedly creepy, the chapel doors are locked, making their welcoming quite cold and surprising, and they start to feel certain that one of them will not be coming home from this trip. After completing a walk around the building to look for an open door, Amelia and Adam return to find the chapel doors wide open. They agree to blame it on the wind, but already Feeney is setting the stage for something sinister.

Despite their surname, it is immediately apparent that something is very wrong in the Wrights’ marriage. Adam is mean and impatient with Amelia, who is caught in more than a few lies. But as the chapel gets creepier and creepier, complete with white faces in the windows, whispered names in the cellar and smiley faces traced into dusty surfaces, Adam and Amelia realize that they’re up against far more than their failed marriage. When Bob goes missing in the middle of the night and they recognize how utterly alone they are in Blackwater, their minds start to play tricks on them, even as they continue to lie, gaslight and snap at one another.

As Feeney reveals, their lies are interesting, but far more intriguing are the reasons they lie. Is their marriage just suffering from a low point, or have they changed fundamentally from the people they were when they first got together? And if they have changed, can they continue to love one another and keep the promises they made when they exchanged vows?

In alternating chapters, Amelia writes letters to Adam on each of their anniversaries, mulling over the year they’ve shared, the importance of the traditional gifts they’ve exchanged, and providing an unfiltered sort of state of the union on her happiness in their marriage. Here we see the highs and lows of Adam’s career, his strange interactions with Henry Winter, and the ways that their previously love-filled marriage has started to crumble.

In still other chapters, we watch the couple unravel through the eyes of Robin, an older woman living in a dilapidated cottage near the chapel. Though she has few interactions with them, she seems able to guess their every move, and at times it appears that she alone can really see what Adam and Amelia are plotting, even when they are hiding their thoughts from one another. Through Robin’s eyes, we are reminded that no matter how long you have known, loved or been married to someone, you can never really know a person inside and out --- and however good someone appears to be, we each have the capacity to become a villain at the drop of a hat. Feeney plays her reveals close to the vest here, but she never once lets up on the tension or chill factor, with the book reading both like a horror novel full of ghosts and witches and a thriller set between two unreliable narrators and their shaky hold on one another.

ROCK PAPER SCISSORS is, without a doubt, the most chilling novel I have read this year...if not ever. Never before have I had to read a domestic thriller with my flashlight at the ready, but Feeney writes with such precision and perfect pacing that her already shocking explorations into the human psyche become exponentially more horrifying. This is very much a writer’s thriller, and her mastery of her craft is on full display at every twist. As Robin explains, “Life is like a game where pawns can become queens, but not everyone knows how to play. Some people stay pawns their whole lives because they never learned to make the right moves.” If writing thrillers is anything like chess, this author has clearly never met a pawn she wasn’t willing to sacrifice, and her novels are all the better for it.

With her expert control over plotting, characterization and the shock of a dramatic reveal, Alice Feeney has proven once again why she is the master of domestic suspense with ROCK PAPER SCISSORS. If you’re a character in one of her books, watch out: “The scariest haunted houses are always the ones in which you are the ghost.”
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A husband and wife win a weekend getaway. Adam and Amelia are hoping this weekend will help improve their marriage, but things do not go as planned.

Rock Paper Scissors is told from alternating points of view. Having viewpoints from both Adam and Amelia adds more to the story, plus letters written by Amelia on each of their anniversaries adds insight to their relationship. The novel starts slow, but it eventually picks up.

Rock Paper Scissors is an atmospheric and twisty domestic thriller. Fans of Alice Feeney’s other books are sure to enjoy this one too.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow. I mean.... Alice Feeney is always a "Yes, please!" but this was just... wow! Absolutely one of her best books ever and a top read of 2021. I stayed up really late with this one and there are so many twists and tons of tension. I've been getting burnt out on domestic thrillers but this one was gripping.

Where do I start with a plot that I refuse to spoil? Um... well you can read the synopsis so as you know, I never repeat it in a review because who wants to waste calories like that. I'll just say that I love unreliable narrators but Adam takes the cake. A narcissistic workaholic (and successful screenwriter which I laughed at but accepted) who has some strange condition called Prosopagnosia which makes him incapable of distinguishing features on people's faces, including his own... I mean... Feeney did some intriguing research on that one and although at first I felt like it was the worst gimmik imaginable, I then found the device an interesting distraction. The idea that someone would be in an intimate relationship--a marriage--with a man with this condition was in itself an interesting component to his wife, Amelia's story. Sure he's charming and good-looking but what else is the motivation?

Through a series of unread anniversary letters and a trip to Scottland where the couple hope to mend a rocky marriage the story unfolds jumping back and forth between POVs to unravel the wittiest of Feeney's books. She outsmarted me and I loved it!

Thank you to Macmillan for sending me this one and I really loved every minute of it!!
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Rock. Paper. Scissors. 

It may have taken me forever and I may have been jonesing for a fantasy, but for once that does not reflect my feelings on this book because I LOVED IT. 


I think #AliceFeeney is one of my favorite thriller authors. I loved His & Hers and I loved this one. 

A twist was revealed at the end and I had to backtrack to make sure I read it right 😂 Maybe it’s cause I haven’t read a #thriller in a while, but man my mind was blown 😂

It’s a completely twisted psychological thriller. And I definitely think the husband is a little 👀 

You’ll get that when you read it. Which means you should read it. Cause AHHHH-maxing things happen. 

Plus I really want to visit Scotland now. But maybe not a deserted church. Or was it? 😏
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This was an entertaining mystery with quite a few twists and turns I didn't see coming. Much better then her last book. Recommended!
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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 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. 

I’m always cautious going into a domestic thriller for fear that I’ll end up in a situation where I’m reading a worn out trope in the sub-genre. Thankfully, I know I can trust Alice Feeney to dish up a story that is twisty, entertaining, and downright impossible to put down. I absolutely adored ROCK PAPER SCISSORS from the very moment I picked it up! The first few chapters sucked me in and then led me down a windy path where I was guessing all sorts of possibilities. While I did guess part of the story, I didn’t guess the execution and was completely in love with the route that Feeney took. I don’t want to give a single thing away about this story. Walk in blind and reserve a few hours to binge this one!
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Rock Paper Scissors, soon to be a Netflix original series, is my first Alice Feeney book and it did not disappoint.  This story grabs you instantly with an intriguing plot point - Mr. Wright, the husband at the center of this novel, suffers from face blindness, which means that he cannot even recognize his own wife's face.  As you might have guessed, this is a suspenseful set-up for some thrilling twists and turns as this novel goes forward.

Rock Paper Scissors follows Mr. and Mrs. Wright as they take an anniversary trip to an isolated location in Scotland.  Mr. Wright and Mrs. Wright have grown distant over time, and their marriage isn't what it once was.  However, this is the weekend that everything changes ... but will it be for better or worse?

Rock Paper Scissors is a book that you basically have to go into blind, so I cannot say much about the plot or characters without giving it all away.  Feeney carefully lays down the pieces of this puzzle, but even the most astute of observers may not guess what lies ahead.  The book does move slowly at times, and I found myself confused at multiple points; however, once the twists start to be revealed, everything comes together quite neatly and shockingly.

I also quite enjoyed how Feeney told Mr. and Mrs. Wright backstory through the use of traditional anniversary gifts and letters from Mrs. Wright to her husband.  These vignettes provided a refreshing reprieve from the story happening back in Scotland and gave clues to how this couple came to be.

The plot devices used by Feeney in Rock Paper Scissors feel reminiscent of Aimee Molloy's Goodnight Beautiful, so if you enjoyed that story, check this one out!  It will also be savored by anyone who loves a good twist.
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