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.
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
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.
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.
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