Author: Alice Feeney
Performed by Richard Armitage, Stephanie Racine
Published by HQ and released on Audible in August 2021
Category: Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Ten years of marriage.
Ten years of secrets.
An anniversary they’ll never forget.
Adam and Amelia are spending the weekend in the Scottish Highlands. The remote location is perfect for what they have planned. But when their romantic trip takes a dark turn, they both start to wonder – can they trust the one they’re with?
Because every couple tells little white lies. Only for Adam and Amelia, the truth is far more dangerous.
Set in a very creepy old converted chapel in a remote area of the Scottish Highlands, Rock Paper Scissors tells the story of Adam, a screen writer who suffers from prosopagnosia, the inability to recognise faces, and his wife, Amelia who works for an animal charity. Their marriage is in trouble and the the marriage guidance counsellor suggested a weekend away. Amelia happened to win a raffle prize at work — a weekend in a cottage in Scotland. They decide it’s make or break for them and set off with their black lab, Bob. The journey is long and tedious but despite the ever worsening weather conditions they eventually arrive at their destination.
Blackwater Chapel is not what Adam and Amelia were expecting. The front doors which were supposed to be open, were locked. After they’d walked round looking for another door they went back to the front doors and found them wide open. The first of many weird happenings.
Can a weekend away really save a marriage? That’s what Amelia said when ‘Call me Pamela’ suggested it. I don’t think so. Which is why I came up with my own plan for us long before I agreed to hers. But now we’re here…climbing the chapel steps…and I don’t know if I can go through with it.
There is a strong sense of gothic-esque foreboding from the start. The setting adds to the tension, with a complete white out, isolated chapel and only a small, seemingly empty cottage nearby which is supposed to be occupied by the caretaker. The chapel itself is bone chillingly cold with only a fire for heat. Several of inner doors of the chapel are locked. There is only one unlocked bedroom and it’s identical to their bedroom at home…
The story is narrated in the first person by unreliable and alternating points of view, and also letters written by Amelia on each wedding anniversary, so the reader, or listener in this case, is privy to the deceptions, lies and general ups and downs of their lives.
Rock Paper Scissors is a disturbing and convoluted tale, with surprise twists and a totally unexpected lead in to a shocking ending. The narrators did an excellent job, bringing the characters and the claustrophobic, sinister feeling of the setting to life.
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