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Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney : #AToZChallenge #BookRecommendations

rock paper scissors

The A to Z Blogging Challenge  is almost in its last week as I continue to write about thrillers of all stripes, mysteries, and crime novels for 26 days in April, based on the letters of the alphabet. All posts are linked here.

Since I’m writing up thriller and crime novel recommendations, I’m also giving away a 50 USD Amazon Gift card, to support reading, and to help my next novel THE BLUE BAR along on its journey.

Entries involve:



After Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh, I bring you Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney.

Rock Paper Scissors : Book Description

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 : Excerpt

It all happens so fast. The blurred, snowy image of a stag standing in the middle of the road ahead, my foot slamming on the brake, the car swerving and spinning before finally skidding to a halt just in front of the deer’s huge horns. It blinks twice in our direction before calmly walking away as if nothing happened, disappearing into the woods. Even the trees look cold.

My heart is thudding inside my chest as I reach for my handbag. My trembling fingers find my purse and keys and almost all other contents before locating my inhaler. I shake it and take a puff.

“Are you okay?” I ask, before taking another.

“I told you this was a bad idea,” Adam replies.

I have bitten my tongue so many times already on this trip, it must be full of holes.

“I don’t remember you having a better one,” I snap.

“An eight-hour drive for a weekend away . . .”

“We’ve been saying for ages that it might be nice to visit the Highlands.”

“It might be nice to visit the moon, too, but I’d rather we talked about it before you booked us on a rocket. You know how busy things are for me right now.”

“Busy” has become a trigger word in our marriage. Adam wears his busyness like a badge. Like a Boy Scout. It is something he is proud of: a status symbol of his success. It makes him feel important, and makes me want to throw the novels he adapts at his head.

“We are where we are because you’re always too busy,” I say through gritted, chattering teeth. It’s so cold in the car now, I can see my own breath.

“I’m sorry, are you suggesting it’s my fault that we’re in Scotland? In February? In the middle of a storm? This was your idea. At least I won’t have to listen to your incessant nagging once we’ve been crushed to death by a falling tree, or died from hypothermia in this shit-can car you insist on driving.”

We never bicker like this in public, only in private. We’re both pretty good at keeping up appearances and I find people see what they want to see. But behind closed doors, things have been wrong with Mr. and Mrs. Wright for a long time.

“If I’d had my phone, we’d be there by now,” he says, rummaging around in the glove compartment for his beloved mobile, which he can’t find. My husband thinks gadgets and gizmos are the answer to all of life’s problems.

“I asked if you had everything you needed before we left the house,” I say.

“I did have everything. My phone was in the glove compartment.”

“Then it would still be there. It’s not my job to pack your things for you. I’m not your mother.”


About the author, Alice Feeney

Alice Feeney is a New York Times bestselling author and journalist. Rock Paper Scissors is her fourth novel and is being made into a TV series for Netflix by the producer of The Crown. It will be published around the world in 2021.

Why pick up Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

I’ve been on holiday in Scotland with my husband, and that added a few resonances to this book.

It is hard to tell you more about the story other than the blurb without spoiling it: it is fiendishly well-plotted. Feeney uses multiple POVs, past and present, and a series of letters to tell you things about the characters they don’t know about each other. The subtext is awesome, as are the secrets. This makes all the twists quite organic–Feeney leads you up one path only for you to realize it was the wrong one.

I’ll never be able to write twists like these, but I’m very pleased to be able to read them. Pick up this book if you need an escape: it is a domestic thriller about a collapsing marriage, but in a twisty, dramatic, over-the-top fashion.

And uh, my husband and I have been married for two decades, so the resonances with the book were limited to, shall we say, the setting. Jokes apart, this book was good entertainment during covid lockdowns, and for that alone it holds a place in my heart.

Have you read the book Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney? If yes, what did you think of it? What crime novels have you read lately ?

THE BLUE BAR is on a 25% discount for all pre-orders through 22nd APRIL, in case anyone wants to support the book and snag it at a reduced price.

Have you read the book Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney? If yes, what did you think of it? What crime novels have you read lately ?

Through the month of April,  to celebrate the challenge and get some support for THE BLUE BAR, I’m  holding this giveaway:

Enter to WIN a 50 USD Amazon gift card for this


Entries are simple: click the RAFFLECOPTER link above, and follow the instructions. It calls for a Goodreads add, a subscription request, and a follow on Instagram.

If you enjoyed the post,  click on any or all of the following to stay updated:

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • cassmob says:

    Definitely sounds intriguing.

  • Jemima Pett says:

    I pretty much echo Ronel’s response on this one 🙂 Besides, I’d be happy with a weekend in the Highlands any time.

  • Ronel Janse van Vuuren says:

    I’m not a big fan of domestic thrillers, so I’ll pass on this one.

    Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge My Languishing TBR: R

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I like the occasional one–and the twists in this one kept me going.

  • Ouch. I am endlessly fascinated (and often horrified) by the differences in what we are shown and reality. Another to add to my ever growing wish list. Thank you. Double drat you.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Horrified is the right word, I think. Sometimes these thrillers really make me think.

  • I discovered an amazing author – Lisa Scottoline – she writes intelligent, well-paced and witty crime novels. I just finished reading The Vendetta Defense and it’s one of the best I’ve read recently. I chuckled my way through the interactions and conversations because the story line takes place in South Philly in an old Italian neighborhood with old Italians front and center in the story line. Having grown up near a Little Italy and having many Italian friends through the years I understood the historical perspective of the Italian vendetta but this book really lays out the emotional groundwork behind this motive force, the vendetta. I also want to read more of Christine Wells, thanks to you. For some reason, I’ve had difficulty finding female authors whose voices/stories captured my attention. Christine Wells and Lisa Scottoline have succeeded – immensely – and I plan to read more of their works. Thanks for all the great reads!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I’m going to look up Lisa Scottoline! I speak Italian and love Italian characters.

  • Another good one, Damyanti. I did a bit of research into face blindness for something I was writing so this has my attention.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, she does use it quite well in the plot. Glad you like it.