The Last Kid Left by Rosecrans Baldwin
A Novel

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“The Last Kid Left” is “The Scarlet Letter” by way of one of Michael Connelly’s Bosch novels...Those two pieces don’t always mix well, and minor characters (like Martin’s estranged daughter) are overly encumbered with dense characterization. But when Baldwin trains his focus Nick and Emily’s story, the novel becomes more frictionless and shrewd...
-LA Times

Synopsis

When a scandalous small-town crime goes viral, a teen girl takes center stage in Rosecrans Baldwin's story of a 21st century Puritan witch-hunt

The Last Kid Left begins when a car smashes into a sculpture of a giant cowgirl. The police find two bodies in the trunk. 19-year-old Nick Toussaint Jr. is arrested for murder, and after details of the crime rip across the internet, his 16-year-old girlfriend, Emily Portis—a sheltered teen who’s been off the grid until now, her first romance coinciding with her first cellphone—is nearly consumed by a public hungry for every lurid detail, accurate or not.

Emily and Nick are not the only ones whose lives come unmoored. A retired police officer latches onto the case. Nick’s alcoholic mother is thrust into an unfamiliar role. A young journalist who left her hometown behind is pulled into the fray. And Emily’s father, the town Sheriff, is finally forced to confront a monstrous secret.

The Last Kid Left is a bold, searching novel about how our relationships operate in a hyper-connected world, an expertly-portrayed account of tragedy turned mercilessly into entertainment. And it’s the suspenseful unwinding of a crime that’s more complex than it initially seems. But mostly it’s the story of two teenagers, dismantled by circumstances and rotten luck, who are desperate to believe that love is enough to save them.

 

About Rosecrans Baldwin

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Rosecrans Baldwin's first novel, You Lost Me There, was named one of NPR's Best Books of 2010, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, and a Time and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of Summer 2010. He is a cofounder of the online magazine The Morning News.
 
Published June 6, 2017 by MCD. 400 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Last Kid Left
All: 3 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
on Mar 21 2017

Ruthless editing might have liberated an intriguing thesis and sharply drawn protagonists from 100 pages of extraneous material. As it stands, admirable but overreaching.

Read Full Review of The Last Kid Left: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Jason Sheehan on Jun 11 2017

...such overwhelming ambition on display, and such hugeness of scope, Baldwin can never quite bring those moments together into a story that doesn't feel like it's going a hundred different places and nowhere at all, all at the same time.

Read Full Review of The Last Kid Left: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Mark Athitakis on Jun 16 2017

“The Last Kid Left” is “The Scarlet Letter” by way of one of Michael Connelly’s Bosch novels...Those two pieces don’t always mix well, and minor characters (like Martin’s estranged daughter) are overly encumbered with dense characterization. But when Baldwin trains his focus Nick and Emily’s story, the novel becomes more frictionless and shrewd...

Read Full Review of The Last Kid Left: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times
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