By Janette Turner
You probably know him as the Edmonds Vet, but David Gross also wields a sharp pen. In the years since he put down the scalpel, Gross has written several books. His latest, “Man Hunt,” tells the fictionalized — but true — tale of the Espinosa brothers and their 1860s Gringo-killing spree.
As with any good tale, a hero must carry the story and here opportunistic Tom Tobin takes up his Hawken 54-caliber rifle and tracks the killers through Colorado and New Mexico. There’s a twist — the hero is related by marriage to his quarry.
Using extensive research, Gross’s book follows the Mexican brothers as they avenge the United States’ expansion into the Rio el Rito. “The Espinosa brothers slit throats,” Gross said recently in an interview, explaining the technique was intended to give the impression the killers were Indians. As the death toll grew to 32, Tobin was given the order to bring the killers in, dead or alive. What he actually brings in is a grisly display you’ll have to read in Gross’s book.
Publishing the novel with Whiskey Creek Press was a new experience for Gross, whose previous works were self-published. “I published two books before this one,” said Gross, mentioning “Animals Don’t Blush,” a memoir about his veterinary practice, and “You Can Nail It,” a primer on studying for success in school. “Both of those books are now with agents,” Gross said.
His next book will feature psychedelic mushrooms and, as always, an intriguing story. In the meantime, he invites you to join him on a “Man Hunt.”