"Emma Copley Eisenberg has written a true crime book that brings to mind Truman Capote's masterpiece In Cold Blood: elegantly written, perfectly paced, and vividly realized people and places. Equally impressive is her refusal to condescend to the inhabitants of the Appalachian community where the crimes occurred. The Third Rainbow Girl is a major achievement."
—Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena
"The Third Rainbow Girl is a staggering achievement of reportage, memoir, and sociological reckoning. We are better for this brilliant, gorgeous, and deeply humane book."
—Carmen Maria Machado, National Book Award nominated author of Her Body and Other Parties
"Headlines only deliver digestible tropes: Backcountry hicks confront hippie celebrants, two dead. But for the indefatigable Emma Eisenberg, approaching the murders at Briery Knob is about more than who fired the gun. An affection for this law-resistant corner of West Virginia enables her to transcend the simple formula of white male rage. Stepping into darkness, she extracts a nuanced sense of place and draws a map with historical connections."
—Nancy Isenberg, New York Times bestselling author of White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
"Part crime narrative and part soul-searching memoir, Emma Copley Eisenberg's The Third Rainbow Girl has so much wisdom to offer. It's about the corrosiveness of preconceived notions, and about how trauma ripples through cultures and generations, and about finding connections in others and strength in oneself. Rich in detail and sensitivity and intelligence and honesty, this is a book you won't want to put down, one that will stay with you for a long time."
—Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author of Lost Girls
"I blazed through this book, which is a true crime page-turner, a moving coming-of-age memoir, an ode to Appalachia, and a scintillating investigation into the human psyche's astounding and sometimes chilling instinct for narrative. A beautiful debut that will stay with me for a long time, whose story mesmerizes even as it convinces you to find all mesmerizing stories suspect."
—Melissa Febos, author of Lambda award-winning Abandon Me
“The Third Rainbow Girl succeeds on two levels: first, as a deep dive inquiry into the 1980 murders of two young women in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, and the ensuing, tangled investigation, and second, as an intimate and humane portrait of a close-knit Appalachian community, the kind of place that is often reduced by outsiders as little more than a cliché of itself. As Jimmy Breslin once wrote of the legendary New York chronicler, Damon Runyan, ‘He did what all great reporters do...He hung out.’ A remarkable book.”
—Richard Price, New York Times bestselling author of Lush Life