With Rock Paper Scissors, Alice Feeney and her readers take a deep dive into a trouble marriage and the lasting impact of deception. As she has done with all her previous novels, Feeney takes readers on an unexpected journey before pulling the rug out from under them with a completely unexpected, but believable, ending.
Rock Paper Scissors begins with Adam and Amelia Wright escaping away to a secluded Scottish chapel converted to a unique weekend getaway location. The Wrights are having some major problems within their marriage and each of them knows that if this weekend doesn’t go well, it may just be the end of their relationship. However, this does not prevent them each from lying to the other even before their car leaves the driveway.
Amelia won the vacation through a raffle and while Adam is skeptical about the destination, he agrees to give it a go. While the isolated location is unusual, it suits Adam because he suffers from face blindness and feels particularly uncomfortable in crowds. Amelia hopes the alone time will allow them to be more honest with each other and themselves.
Except that maybe this trip wasn’t as spontaneous as they each believe it to be. Who is the mysterious watcher who seems to be lurking in the shadows?
Alice Feeney has made a trademark of structuring her novels uniquely and that is the case here as well. Most of the novel is narrated by alternating point of view chapters from Adam and Amelia. However, because anniversaries are so important, there is an ongoing string of letters written on each anniversary (and titled after the traditional gift bestowed for that many years of wedded bliss) which occasionally interrupts the main narrative providing further depth of character to the couple. This technique allows readers to get to bond with both Adam and Amelia intimately, and in some cases, the reader knows things that one or the other of the characters do not, helping to draw the reader into the story.
The subtle manipulation of the reader that Alice Feeney has become known for is also present in Rock Paper Scissors. She is never one to let readers get too comfortable, willing to unveil unexpected developments repeatedly throughout her stories. Many readers will find themselves flipping back to the beginning upon reaching the conclusion in order to see how it was possible they overlooked the signposts that are indeed there for those paying attention.
Each of Alice Feeney’s books is a standalone, so readers can start with any of them. Surely once one is read, the others will be consumed in rapid manner.
Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the author. No promotion was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.