This is a summary based on my understanding of the novel. Please also note that this summary contains spoilers. You may want to read the entire book first before proceeding
Married couple, Adam and Amelia, decided to spend the weekend in Scotland as an attempt to fix their marriage. The both of them haven’t been the same lately, and they are hoping that this trip to a remote place where bring back their intimacy.
They ended up in Blackwater Chapel, which the both of them found creepy. Amelia said she won this staycation from her workplace’s raffle.
On their first night, they ate food they found from the large freezer. They drank wine they found from the creepy cellar. When they entered the bedroom they’d be staying in, they were surprised to see that it looked a lot like their own bedroom back home.
It was all just too creepy – and their stay in the Chapel seemed to have worsened their trust issues towards each other. The lights went off. Amelia saw a face from the window. They heard clamor downstairs as they slept. They are in the middle of a snowstorm, without any signal, so they can’t just leave.
The next day, their dog Bob, is missing. The two of them looked for him everywhere. They knocked on the nearby cottage. The woman inside shut her windows, without any interest of helping them at all. They climbed the hill to try finding a signal – there was no luck.
Amelia previously thought it was best that they don’t have reception, because she wanted a weekend spent with Adam without his work. He is a famous screenwriter and he spends most of his time in his desk.
Without any luck, they headed back to the Chapel. They saw someone get in, and they tried catching up to whoever that was. When they got inside, they noticed that a door to the study has opened. When they arrived last night, only their bedroom door wasn’t locked. This time, they were able to get inside the study. Adam thought the place was familiar, then he remembered – Henry Winter. The best selling author who gave him a chance at adopting his stories into film. They worked for quite some time, but Henry suddenly stopped contacting him. Adam realized that this chapel belongs to Henry, but he couldn’t make sense why he wants him and Amelia there.
As they try to look for the person who entered the Chapel, and while still looking for Bob, they wandered at the back where there was a graveyard. They found Harry Winter’s gravestone.. and it looks like he died 2 years ago. It was weird because he has published a book within the past 2 years. Also, who could’ve invited them if Harry is already dead?
Other doors have opened. They found a child’s room. They found a red kimono on the bed they slept in last night. They found the anniversary gifts Adam received from his wife. And on one of the walls were photos that weren’t there before – the last photo on the wall was of Adam’s wedding with his first wife, Robin. And on the background was Henry Winter.
It was Robin who invited them. Adam’s 1st wife. In between chapters from Adam and Amelia’s POV is a letter entry from Robin, detailing what happened.
Robin worked at Battersea Dogs Home. Adam works as a screenwriter who has always idolized Henry Winter. Robin never revealed to him that Henry is her father. To help Adam’s career, she reached out to Henry to let Adam adapt one of his books. Adam and Henry’s relationship went on, which Robin didn’t like as she is not fond of her father.
Robin found Adam in bed with her friend and co worker from Battersea. Her name is Amelia, and it was Robin who helped her get a full time job. She was angry. She left Adam even though she has nowhere to go. Just in time, Henry contacted her and told her he is dying. She accompanied him back into the Chapel where he died. She burried him and decided to stay in the nearby cottage as the Chapel has too many disturbing memories for her to sleep peacefully in. Since no one knew about Henry’s death – she continued writing his novel, and sent it to his agent. The agent loved the work, it turns out Robin is as good as her father, she just never wrote fiction. She got reprimanded by Henry before when she wrote about an author who wrote about murder and also murdered in real life. Robin thinks it was Henry who killed his own wife, her mother.
Robin knows that Amelia is fond of joining competitions and raffle draws, so it only took one email to lure her into the Chapel, so Robin can have her revenge.
After all those years living alone, Robin realized that she missed Adam. Also, she realized that she is also angry at Amelia.
Even before Robin reached out to Henry, Henry already knows what’s going on with her life as he hired a private investigator, Samuel Smith, to stalk them. Samuel emails a monthly report to Henry – and since it is Robin who now uses the laptop, she kept updated about Adam’s life via Samuel, who is still unaware of Henry’s death.
Through Samuel, Robin discovered who Amelia really was. Adam has been traumatized as a child when he witnessed his mother’s death. And since he can’t recognize faces (he has prosopagnosia), he wasn’t able to point out who killed his mother. It turns out it was Amelia – she had a record of stealing cars, speeding, and has lived near Adam 30 years ago. Amelia has purposely entered their lives to be with Adam, aware who he is from the very start.
Robin wrote this on a letter which she plans to let Adam read.
While still in the Chapel, Adam saw a letter being slipped from the door. When Amelia tried to snatch it, he walked away and read the content – and found out who Amelia really was. When Amelia picked up a knife, someone with a pair of scissors appeared.
Robin went home with Adam, they are now back to their original life. Amelia is dead, and Adam has no regrets.
Adam recalled the night his mother died. That was the night he met Amelia, they kissed, they smoked, they stole cars. Adam drove the car, Amelia’s hand went to his crotch, he got distracted – hit someone. As he looked up he saw his mother’s face. Bloody. He was unable to move, so Amelia kicked him out and drove away. Leaving Adam on the road grieving for his mother whom he killed himself.
The End of Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney.