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‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ book review: Don’t read it on a gloomy day

‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ book review: Don’t read it on a gloomy day

“Ten years of marriage. Ten years of secrets. An anniversary they will never forget” reads the blurb of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ by Alice Feeney. I bought the book for my husband as it will be our 10th marriage anniversary in the next couple of years and I thought I would spook him with a twisted book. But Rock, Paper, Scissors is mediocre at best. The setting is eerie but that’s about it. There is also something quite déjà vu-ish about the story but that could easily just be me having read a lot of thrillers and watched as many on Netflix.

Feeney has written several books but this was my first time reading her work. I wasn’t familiar with her writing style and that should have given a sense of newness to the story. That it didn’t do so makes me believe all thriller writers follow a trope and once you are familiar with it, it’s not difficult to see where the story is going, no matter who is writing it.

Rock, Paper, Scissors is about a couple who go away on a holiday. Adam and Amelia want to reconnect and rekindle their bond. They were once madly in love but lately, they find that they are unable to understand each other. The therapist suggests they go on a trip to try to relax and mend things so when Amelia wins a weekend getaway on a work raffle, the two pack their bags and leave. The place they end up at, braving a storm, is an old chapel converted into a holiday home.

The story is narrated alternately by Adam and Amelia, giving you insights into both their worlds and perspectives. As far as characters go, both of them are flawed and selfish. I didn’t like either of them. They were always blaming each other for everything. When Adam is telling his story, he is making Amelia seem bad. And when it’s Amelia’s turn, you are sure Adam is the problematic one. There is another character, Robin, who comes in a little later and adds a bit of intrigue. Who is she? Why does she have a key to the chapel where Adam and Amelia are staying? Is she trying to spook them?

But the problem is that there are only a few characters, and it’s mostly all about Adam, Amelia, and Robin. You know one of them is responsible for everything bad that is happening but you don’t know who and you are given very few clues to guess as well. Adam has prosopagnosia, meaning he can’t recognize people by their faces. He watched his mother get killed but couldn’t describe the driver to the police. He lives in guilt that his mother’s killer walked free because of him. You realize this is an essential part of the story but how it factors in on what’s happening isn’t clear till the author decides to shove it in your face.

As far as thrillers go, Rock, Paper, Scissors is average. Though there is tension on almost every page, much of it feels forced and fake. Don’t read it on a gloomy day because it will make you feel lonely, sad, and hollow.



Rock, Paper, Scissors

Alice Feeney

Published: 2021

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 312, Paperback