I've had a copy of Lucas by Kevin Brooks unread on my shelves for ages now. I've read a few other books by Kevin Brooks and I'm quickly becoming a huge fan of his! If I'm honest, I had no idea what the story was about before I picked it up. Kevin Brooks is a name that I trust and will most likely read his entire backlist. But I was a little nervous about reading Lucas as so many people rave about it. And for good reason, I think. There's something a bit special about this one, and I think I will find it hard to accurately describe just what about this book sets it apart. I shall try through.
Lucas takes place over a single month in summer. Caitlin lives with her father and her older brother who is home visiting over the summer. They live on this isolated little island and Caitlin is on the edge of something, growing up maybe. She worries about her older brother and also about her best friend and neighbour who seem to be getting caught up in a bad crowd.
And during this pivotal summer month, Caitlin meets Lucas and it changes her view of life forever. Not much is known about Lucas - he's utterly mysterious and different. He is sort of a drifter, moving and living however he likes and that freedom and that sense of being different really draws Cait to him. She falls for him quite hard, almost immediately and without them quite meeting yet.
However, the other people in this small town just don't understand him and seem to be afraid and wary of that which they don't understand. Caitlin and Lucas both get drawn into events beyond their control - events which are serious and big. Accusations are made, and things happen in this book that left me breathless and emotional. Despite this book having rather a dreary setting and an almost-heavy feeling atmosphere, I flew through the pages, desperate to know what happens.
There's a sense of really seeing the dark side of humanity whilst reading this book. The negative way in which Lucas is recieved into this small town, some rather nasty individuals and the horrible crimes that are committed. But through it all, we have this lovely, innocent and honest boy, Lucas, who just seems to shine. Lucas is a character and a book that will stay with me for a very, very long time.