The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg

The Third Rainbow Girl

In the afternoon or early evening of June 25, 1980, two young women, Vicki Durian and Nancy Santomero, were killed in an isolated clearing in rural Pocahontas County West Virginia. They were hitchhiking to an outdoor peace festival known as the Rainbow Gathering, but never arrived. Their killings have been called “The Rainbow Murders.”For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted, though suspicion was cast on a succession of local men. In 1993, t...

Details The Third Rainbow Girl

TitleThe Third Rainbow Girl
Release DateJan 21st, 2020
PublisherHachette Books
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, Autobiography, Memoir

Reviews The Third Rainbow Girl

  • Lori
    First and foremost, this book does not belong in the true crime genre. Lately I've seen publishers publicizing and categorizing their books in the most puzzling ways and this one takes the prize. To compare "The Third Rainbow Girl" to "In Cold Blood" makes as much sense as comparing a forest to a dust bunny.It opens with a numbered prologue called "True Things," which gives away all the facts of the crime and other Things. None of what follows is...
  • Valerity (Val)
    This unusual blend of true crime and memoir is rather quirky and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. There are places it felt a bit sideswiped to me, then I’d go back to enjoying it once again. The true crime parts were good, as was the history of the state and the research. The two women, Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were headed to a Rainbow Gathering festival in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, near the Virginia border. T...
  • Sandy
    Thank you @Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.**It pains me to say this but this is the first book I DNF in a very, very long time. Shortly after starting this book yesterday I didn't think it will be for me; however I figured I would give it the good old try and see if I would like it a little later on.I was at 25% before I completely gave up on trying to force the read. I was looking for this book t...
  • Jessica Jeffers
    I don't read a lot of true crime but I picked this up because I spent many summers in Pocahontas County when I was a teenager and my father moved to Hillsboro upon retiring in 2005. It's a place that holds a weird soft spot in my heart and I always appreciate whenever an empathetic light is shined on Appalachia.Imagine my surprise to read the first chapter, in which Eisenberg describes the discovery of two bodies in the summer of 1980....and it's...
  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    2.5 starsIn the summer of 1980, an outdoor peace festival called the Rainbow Gathering was held in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Vicki Durian and Nancy Santomero hitched a ride across the country for the event but never made it to the gathering. At some point on June 25, 1980 the two women were murdered and left in an isolated clearing where they were discovered by a local man late in the evening.The killings became known as "The Rainbow Murd...
  • Jill
    2 starsTruly the strangest true crime book I have ever read. The author takes the reader on a long,rambling and at times bizarre trail of words. This book could have easily been cut in half. I wanted to know the story of the girls, their lives and the murder and not all the extra stuff jammed into the book for no real reason.I cannot recommend this book.I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for ...
  • Matt Jones
    I think what I enjoyed most about this book is that it seems to subvert, or in some way, complicate the true crime genre. Referring to The Third Rainbow Girl as true crime feels like too narrow of a description. Instead, what Eisenberg has given readers is something that feels messy, but in a carefully crafted and curated way, messy in the way that ideas of violence and truth and intimacy often are. This book is about a particular crime, but it i...
  • Angela
    This book I didn’t like. I wanted to like it, but it was everywhere. First, the murders would be talked about, then the author would talk about herself, then it would go back in the past, then the future. I just couldn’t make any sense from it. I am thoroughly disappointed.
  • Noorilhuda
    What a shoddy piece of investigation and prosecution. Alkire, Dale, Weiford all come across as amateur, childish idiots. It's unbelievable how Jacob Beard got convicted the first time considering the level, quality and nature of 'evidence' against him, even if he was actually guilty. And it isn't a stretch that much less has been used to convict black men for similar crimes.The author is sensitive and articulate and comes to the project with a ve...
  • Sally Lindsay-briggs
    This was a Goodreads gift that was well researched by the author. It included many details of the location, the history of the area in West Virginia and the Rainbow people, their people and habits. The focus of the story was the two young women that were murdered. We learned an extreme amount of minutae about all the accused men, the two trials, the defense, the prosecution, the later interviews and more than we really wanted to know and cared ab...
  • Mallory (onmalsshelf) Bartel
    2 stars. Thank you NetGalley, Hachette Books, and for the Galley and ALC in exchange for an honest review. Note: The author identifies as queer and I am not sure of their correct pronouns, so I will be using they/their.Synopsis wise, I will be sharing what the true crime portion of the book is about:June 25, 1980, Pocahontas County, West Virginia: Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were found shot in an isolated clearing. The two...
  • Donna Hines
    In Rainbow Girls we have the sense of urgency and the sense of a killer getting away with murder.The details and history are very cut and dry but each road leads to another clear and compelling piece of the puzzle.Sadly this was the 80's and the DNA testing and evidence was not like it is today.The fact that all evidence pointed to one man named Beard and later it was uncovered that perhaps he wasn't the killer forcing new evidence to come forwar...
  • Kelly
    The Third Rainbow Girl: The long life of a double murder in the Appalachia by Emma Copley EisenbergJanuary 21, 2020Hachette BooksTrue crime, nonfiction Rating: 3/5I received a digital ARC copy of this book from NetGalley and Hachette Books in exchange for an unbiased review.This book is more of a memoir than a true crime story. On June 25, 1980, Vicki Durian (26) from Iowa working as a HHA and Nancy Santomero (19) dropped out of a NY college to w...
  • Cheryl
    I am a fan of true crime stories. I find them fascinating. What makes them so is not so much the crime but the motive as to why. Reading a true crime novel gives you glimpses into the mid of the killer or killers. I found this factor to be a "weak" point with this book. It is broken into sections. The first section does showcase the murder of Vicki Durian and Nancy Santomero. After that it kind of deviates to the author and her connection to West...
  • Genevieve Trono
    While I love a memoir and investigation into a person or area, I think my expectations for this to be more of a true-crime deep dive made this book disappointing for me as the reader. This may just have been one of those situations where I thought this would be a different kind of book based on the book summary. I struggled to engage with the content because I was really wishing I could get more information about the actual events related to thes...
  • Salt
    This book felt gross to me, the author uses tragedy and violence against women to push a memoir.Other than that, it was an okay read. I grew up in rural Kentucky and found it interesting to read about rural Appalachia from an outsider's perspective.
  • Danielle
    I couldn't get through this book. There was too much background information about the author's life and the surrounding area. I just wanted to read some true crime!
  • Melanie
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I love the true crime genre and was excited to read this book. I did not know much about the story and was excited to learn more. Instead of reading like a true crime novel this was more like a history book/memoir. I do enjoy history and I like interesting memoirs but this book did not work for me. There are a lot of details about the history of the area which this crime took p...
  • Vick
    I saw recommendations for this book based off the LGBT factor. I was pretty disappointed- it doesn't read as a "queer" novel but reinforces and validates gross stereotypes about country life. It was painful to finish. I think the book tried to straddle true crime and memoir when it would have been more successful to pick one.
  • Jack
    Self indulgent and unfocused at best, predatory at worst. DNF
  • Alison Hardtmann
    In 1980, a festival called the Rainbow Gathering was held in a National Park deep in West Virginia's Pocahontas county. Attended by hippies and free spirits, some of the local residents were not pleased with the influx of outsiders. Then two young women on their way to the Gathering were found murdered not far from their destination. The local police quickly reach the conclusion that the murderer was a local, but who the culprit was, in an isolat...
  • BookGypsy
    A true crime story and part memoir. The accounts of two girls that were murdered on their way to attend a Rainbow Gathering. The author goes into the history of rural West Virginia. The events surrounding the murder known as The Rainbow Murders and the evidence and trial. It also shows the lasting effects of the murder on a town and it's people. The author goes into details about her own life that made me feel like I was reading two different thi...
  • Ashleigh
    The Third Rainbow Girl is classified as a true crime, one of my favorite genres to read. Surprisingly enough if you love true crime I wouldn't recommend this one too you. Although there book is based in West Virginia where the double murder in Appalachia took place I found this book to read more of a historical memoir. There is a lot of information from the time that the author Emma was living in pocahontas county in west Virginia, and b what ult...
  • Zoe
    3.5 Stars!Honest,descriptive, and informative!The Third Rainbow Girlis the candid, compelling story detailing the senseless murder of two young women in the woods of West Virginia during the summer of 1980, the subsequent, complex, frustrating, neverending battle for justice, and the author's own thoughts and experiences of spending time in the area.The writing is educative and direct.And the novel is a well researched, sincere tale of a crime wi...
  • Laura (crofteereader)
    This is the kind of book that encourages discussion. While I was reading it, I was both fascinated and horrified by the state of my neighboring state of West Virginia. I loved the parallels that Eisenberg drew between her experiences and the murders 30 years earlier. The circumstances are so different but the toxicity of life in rural West Virginia remained. Watching the way neighbors and even family turned against each other in the wake of trage...
  • Holly
    *This is my review from NetGalley, who gave me ARC access in exchange for my review.*When I saw this book reviewed in Booklist I was really, really excited. I have several friends who have attending the Rainbow Gathering over the years and this sounded like an interesting mix of true-crime and hippie culture. This is not what this book is. The first section of the book is great - when the author focuses on the event that the book is advertised to...
  • Paula
    I requested this book from Netgalley for an honest review. The synopsis sounded good about two girl's murders that I knew nothing about. I found this book interesting at first when it talked about the murders and also the history of West Virginia. The writer has a gift for writing and the details made you feel as if you were there. Eisenberg also talked about her life which made me feel as though the murders were a back story and the book was rea...
  • Nicole Lorentz
    I wanted to read this book because it was said to be the true crime story of Nancy Santomero and Vicki Durian, who were murdered on their way to the Rainbow Gathering in 1980. This was a story about them and what happened, but there was also a lot of extra stuff in it that I thought was unnecessary. I was thinking that this was going to be set up like how other true crime stories are set. Or at least in a similar fashion.Emma Copley Eisenberg dec...