The Einstein Posse by Laren Winter
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Laren R. Winter introduces his protagonist, Dr. Marc Thomas, in a literary thriller about the nature of life, death, and grief. Nothing exciting happens in the sleepy mountain town of Rua Springs, Colorado. At least, nothing exciting used to happen. When gifted student Patsy Anderson hangs herself, the entire town is plunged into shock, grief, and suspicion. Dr. Marc Thomas, Patsy's school psychologist, is used to dealing with death. Ever since his beloved wife, Lilly, was killed by a drunk driver, Marc has barely been making it through each day. He moved back home to Rua Springs to live with his father and crazy grandfather, but their antics don't completely distract him from the pain. Even in his grief-fueled numbness, however, Patsy's death shocks him. Was he too depressed to see the warning signs in someone else? Could he have stopped her in time? As Marc struggles with his grief at both deaths, he looks deeper into Patsy's life. In doing so, he will uncover small town deception, a vengeful secret society, and unexpected danger. Someone out there knows what really happened to Patsy, and that someone may be prepared to silence Marc forever before he can reveal the truth. The first thought Marc Thomas had about his gifted student, Patsy Anderson, was he didn't have a clue why she would kill herself. His second thought was a question. How could he have totally missed any signs that she would do something like this? His third thought was all hell was going to break loose. That thought was not strong enough. In the Colorado mountain community of Rua Springs, a death at school hadn't occurred for so long that most people couldn't remember it. For school psychologist Marc Thomas, it only added to his ongoing grief about Lilly, his wife, who was killed by a drunk driver. Struggling to do his job, Marc also wants to know why Patsy would kill herself if, in fact, she did, and so his search begins. At the same time Marc is settling in with his dad and grandpa after moving back to his home town following Lilly's death. Bret, Marc's dad, and Herman, Marc's gnome-like grandpa, plus Marc make for interesting adventures in the all-male home. The three males share a love that is built on mutual respect and trust forged through the death of all three of their wives. Each in his own way provides a bond to the others that is unbreakable. Although there are times that grandpa Herman's crazy, humorous acts, along with his friend, Charlie, make Bret and Marc want to strangle both of them. Marc's journey of discovery leads him into long discussions with his cousin, Katherine, a local Episcopal priest, about life, death and grief. Marc, along with his dad, grandpa, and childhood friend, Steve Montes, the county sheriff, are led to a secret group at school, The Einstein Posse, which is determined to provide justice to the bullies they believe may have pushed Patsy to end her life. Driven to find answers, Marc, is led to an old cabin, that is said to be haunted, and to the long dead Rua Springs silver mine where facing danger he finally discovers the answer to Patsy's past, a long-held secret of her parents, and friendships in a small community.


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