‘Lucas cleverly contrasts the banality of school life with the brutal code of the streets. An exhilarating, tragic tale and a terrific debut’ - Financial Times
‘A powerful and unsettling novel, Turf’s biggest success is its protagonist, a character as misunderstood, complex and terrifying as the world he must flee’ - Observer
TURF is the story of Jay. Jay’s about to turn sixteen – that means it’s time for him to graduate to the Olders of his gang, the Blake Street Boyz. And that means passing an initiation. But it’s an extreme task; one that makes Jay question if being in the gang is really as good as it had always seemed. As Jay comes to terms with the task he’s been set his world begins to unravel around him. He begins to discover that some decisions are more complicated than right and wrong, and some outcomes more important than life and death.
TURF started out as a story about Hackney as much as anything, but the stories about gang violence amongst young people that filled the press as I was writing began to influence the book more and more until Jay’s story took over altogether.