The Girls Are Gone

As a true crime fan, I am always on the search for an interesting and detailed true crime read. Though the common theme of serial killers and murderers always piques my interest (think Investigation Discovery channel), I am also prone to look for different types of true crime literature. Fortunately for me I didn’t have to look too far to find the The Girls Are Gone, which easily fit the mold of my favorite kind of book. The title alone is enough to get my attention. The Girls Are Gone tells the true story of two sisters who went missing, the father who kept searching, and the adults who conspired to keep the truth hidden.

On the evening of April 19, 2013, Samantha and Gianna Rucki disappeared. The teenage sisters vanished in the midst of their parents’, David Rucki and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, divorce. The girls’ father, David, worked tirelessly with law enforcement to search day and night for his two missing daughters, following every lead while raising three remaining children at home. Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, used her newfound freedom to vacation around the world, abandoning her children. And as the investigation intensified, catching the attention of the media, Sandra also disappeared. In a whirlwind case, charges were filed against four people, including the girls’ mother, for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. The Girls Are Gonechronicles key events during the criminal trials of the people who were later convicted or pleaded guilty for their involvement in this heinous crime.

Authors Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann met during the 2016 criminal trial. Both authors had a unique and insightful role in both the family and criminal cases involving the Rucki family. Allison worked at a law firm representing David Rucki, the father, who was trying to find his girls. Michael was working for the Star Tribune at the time and covered the story as the case developed. Michael and Allison have spent the last two years working together investigating and researching to find the answers to many questions that had been left unanswered for years. Those answers are written in The Girls Are Gone after having analyzed court documents, reviewed investigative files, and conducted numerous interviews to provide a completed story about how and why two children vanished from their family and friends for 944 days.

The Girls Are Gone was released in October 2018, published by Wise Ink Publishing. Since its release, The Girls Are Gone has made Amazon’s Hot New Releases charts and has become a best-seller in the True Crime category. After reading this book, it was easy to see why it has such a strong following. It took me a little over a week to finish The Girls Are Gone after reading a few chapters before bed each night. The only reason I stopped reading and put it down was to go to sleep. The Girls Are Gone is detailed, complex, and fascinating, making it easy to get pulled into it from the start. Though the plot focuses on girls’ disappearance, the catalyst to their disappearance, their parents’ divorce, is heavily documented to lay the foundation of the family dynamic. It is such a fascinating and unimaginable story that I had to keep reminding myself that this was the devastatingly true story of a broken family - which Brodkorb and Mann respectfully and dutifully detail in this book. This book incorporates factual and legal information with a certain emotional clarity that is sure to be devoured by any true crime fan! To learn more, go to

A special thank you to Kelsey Butts with Books Publicity Services for reaching out and sending me this book! 

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