THE LAST KID LEFT
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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.
Entertainment Weekly – Best Books of the Month: "When teen Nick is arrested for murder and the case goes viral, both his family and his girlfriend are thrust into the spotlight." The Los Angeles Times: "Bracing... The Last Kid Left is The Scarlet Letter by way of one of Michael Connelly’s Bosch novels, one part study of herd mentality and one part procedural." National Public Radio: "Virtuoso bursts of language and characterization and insight... Who killed the hell out of this nice small-town New England doctor and his wife? And why? That's more than enough to keep the plot of a thinner novel going all on its own — but Baldwin isn't done. He's barely getting started." iBooks – Best Books of the Year (So Far): "A bullet train of a novel... We tore through this ambitious story, which pivots among multiple characters and viewpoints – as well as emails, texts, and news articles – to make a modern American gothic." Vol. 1 Brooklyn: "Rosecrans Baldwin’s new novel examines the way that true-crime narratives can obsess our culture — and, given the way that cultural commentators have begun to delve into the ethics of this, it seems to be coming at exactly the right time." Vanity Fair: "Rosecrans Baldwin drives a modern murder mystery in The Last Kid Left.” Publishers Weekly: "A well-crafted mystery... Readers who like plenty of character analysis in their crime fiction will be satisfied." Book Page: "Without spoiling the ending of this finely wrought thriller, Baldwin’s novel steers clear of tidy endings, remaining faithful to delivering a story that ebbs and flows with the messiness of real life."
Photo: Reiner Girsch