a novel



the novel





Can’t Catch Me!

a novel

Hattie, Charlie and Joel met as students in the late sixties.

Charlie the actor and gifted clown, Joel the Rabbi in training, and Hattie the dazzling pianist and fiery socialist feminist. Out of their strange friendship they formed a band, and (without really trying) became famous.

The novel begins in 2003, as they meet again to write and rewrite their history and their love for each other.

They have many captivating stories, which chime and intertwine: but what the stories tell us are simple truths about love and friendship, comrades and kindness, memory and mystery, living and dying.

“When you find the love that can through fire, stick to it. Stick to it all your life.”

We have a few paperback copies left (320pages) and are preparing a version for kindle. To enquire about getting a copy of the book, please contact


readers’ comments

It is delightful, and surprising, to find a new book that is both formally dextrous and written with such compassion. Structurally inventive, intellectually nimble and stylistically elegant, it deals with the vital things ­ love, death, true living ­ with a light and honest touch.

Can't Catch Me talks of lives lived wholeheartedly, and friendships forged unreservedly. It talks of death, and loss, and pain, and of love that not only survives but grows. Remarkably, it does this without solemnity. Like its title, Can't Catch Me never takes itself too earnestly, and stays both playful and elusive. Even better, the writers always credit the reader with intelligence and understanding, knowing that we too are part of the book's carefully woven tapestry of narratives. And so it can be read and re­read with an expanding sense not only of the richness of the characters' lives, but also of our own. In short, it is a beautiful and compelling book, created with courage and consummate skill. (Jonathan Holmes, London. Theatre director, film maker, writer and founder of Jericho House. www.jonathanholmes.net)

I'm loving your book and hold you both entirely responsible for my tired eyes.  Can't wait to find out what happens next, but also don't want it to end.  I already know it's going to be one of those books that will be read many times to see what I missed the first time around. 

(Sometime later): Just finished reading Can't Catch Me! again. I just love it, especially page 50. Wish I was doing an English Lit degree so I could study it... It's just wonderful.
(Annette Kyle, Derby. Currently a mature undergraduate. Formerly a BBC administrator.)

I've just finished Can't Catch Me and I am totally in love with all the characters and therefore the authors. Can I meet them?! The book seems to touch on THE big themes in my life right now (following your heart, seeing the Big Picture, deciding what's Real in a confusingly unreal world etc.) You with your unerring instinct just knew it was the perfect book for me to read!! Thank you a million times. (Tania Coke, Yokohama. Corporeal mime artist and instructor, conflict mediator. www.yokohama-theatre.com)

You would think a novel dealing with Buddhism, Cathars, the Spanish Civil War, friendship and death, written as fragments of a film script (mainly flashbacks to the earlier lives of the protagonists), linked with emails, blogs and journals (a kind of modern take on the epistolary novel) would have been snapped up by a major paperback publisher. This could be the sleeper of 2010. The next Captain Corelli's Mandolin (and much, much better than that). There is action and a plot, but this is essentially a novel of ideas, with plenty of laughs in between. In mid-life, the three central characters (Charlie Beaumont, Joel Cohen and Hattie Tattersall), a trio of students, who came together at Birmingham University (where the authors both taught), explore the events and ideas that brought them together 30 years earlier. You read this book in a couple of sittings, then want to go back to the beginning as some of the revelations along the way force you to revise your understanding of what has happened. Deirdre Burton and Tom Davis are to be congratulated on a great first novel. (Christopher Roper, Dorset. Founder of Logotron (computer software to schools), Longman GeoInformation group, the Landmark Information Group. www.megasorcery.com)

Finished Can't Catch Me!, wow, that was really, really dramatic, I loved it :) Thanks so much to you both. (Dominic Shakeshaft, Birmingham. Editorial Director)

I'm so enjoying your novel: I eat it in small bite sizes in bed of an evening, and am finding it haunting, touching and intriguing!  (Holly Timmermans, Birmingham. Therapist and visual artist)

I am HOOKED on your book! (Sarah Caird, musician and music therapist)

Bloody hell.  Page 50.  Can't breathe with the tenderness and beauty. I love your beautiful novel that tells age old stories in a new and profound way. (Amy Ralston, St Albans. Acupuncturist and spiritual director.)

I have just pages to go with Can't Catch Me. When you have time, can you write another book called 'The Further Adventures of Rinchen' - she is very good company. (Nicola Humphries, Bristol. Producer BBC radio 4 features)

Have just read your book - thank you.
Amidst the joy and connection, it has touched deep raw places and called forth such deep sadness and despair that my heart is broken.
Such immense gratitude to you both.
(Katy Kerr, Dorset. Librarian and jewellery maker)