FORMER mental health nurse Nathan Filer has won the £30,000 Costa Book Award for his first novel, The Shock of the Fall.

Novelist Rose Tremain, who chaired the judging panel, said it was "astonishingly sure-fitted" for a first novel. Mr Filer beat four other writers, including bookmakers' favourite Edinburgh-based Kate Atkinson.

The book is about two brothers torn apart by a tragic accident and one's descent into schizophrenia. It is the first debut novel to take the prize since 2006, when Stef Penney won with The Tenderness Of Wolves.

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