Debut author Lee Lawrence has won the Costa biography award for a memoir about his lengthy quest to find justice for his mother, who was left paralyzed after being shot by London police in 1985.

Lawrence saw off competition from authors including Booker winner Julian Barnes to win the £5,000 biography category for The Louder I Will Sing. Judges for the Costa prize called it “a revelatory book and a terrific story” which is “acutely timely and exceptionally important”.

The Louder I Will Sing does not appear to be available through a US publisher at the moment, but is available on Kindle and Nook.