Bethan Roberts moves from Serpent's Tail to Chatto

Bethan Roberts has moved from Serpent's Tail to Chatto and Windus after the Random House imprint bought her latest novel, inspired by the life of E M Forster.

Senior editor Poppy Hampson bought world rights to My Policeman from David Riding at MBA and will publish in February next year.

The book takes inspiration from E M Forster and the writer's long-term relationship with Bob Buckingham and his wife. The novel is set in late 1950s Brighton and unfolds through the twin narratives of Marion and Patrick, who write about the man at the centre of both their lives.

Hampson said: "I've been a fan of Bethan's since I read her first novel, and I'm thrilled that she's joining us. My Policeman is one of those very rare, very special novels that moves you and ruthlessly draws you in until you can feel and think of nothing else.  It's a great achievement."

Roberts has worked as a television documentary researcher, writer and assistant producer and has taught creative writing at Chichester University and Goldsmiths College in London.