The Summers and Swan book Looking for Madeleine hit the bookshelves in the UK last week, a book that claims to give the definitive account of what happened to Madeleine, approved and rubber stamped by the parents, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell, and their number One fan Jim Gamble, the former head of CEOP.
I haven't read the book, nor will I. When its release coincided with comments from the former Police Chief who has assisted the McCanns throughout, it came across as the story endorsed by the authorities in the same way that books had to be approved in Stalinist Russia. Any book approved of and recommended by 'The State' should be read with a huge pinch of salt (if you have the time) or discarded if you don't. In my opinion, its as much a part of the 'McCanns are Innocent' narrative as the phoney detectives, phoney sightings, and phoney abductors.
But those aren't the only reasons I won't buy it. When I began following this case 7 years ago, the internet was buzzing with blogs, forums - hundreds, if not thousands of people with their own individual theories. It became impossible to keep up, and on top of which, I get very irritated if I have taken the time and trouble to read volumes of pages, only to discover the writer is clearly barmy and has come up with an even more ludicrous scenario than the McCanns. I hold grudges. I have still not forgiven M. Night Shyamalan and Mark Wahlberg* for The Happening - 2 hours of my life I will never get back!
If you want a clear idea of what this case is all about, you have to sort the wheat from the chaff. If a theorist comes up with something that 'might' have happened and discards the alerts by the blood and cadaver dogs, I recommend you stop reading. Ditto, the idea that there was someone in PDL soooooo important that the intelligentsia have closed ranks to protect them. I mean seriously, someone with more State protection than the US President and the Prince of Wales going to an off season holiday camp in Portugal for a bit of nooky - Really?
If you want to spare yourself 24/7 reading, and believe me there is that much material out there, you can do no better than the McCann files, Joana Morais, Blacksmith Bureau and 'Only in America, Teddy' and Pamalam who incurred McCanns' wrath by saving all of Gerry's blogs - well worth an afternoon of reading you will never forget. Links to these sites will shortly be available on blog. Good Quality Wristbands was also cracker - though not live afaik, it still contains some brilliant articles as too the terrific website of Ironside, Steel Magnolia who has now sadly passed away.
For discussion, Madeleine McCann Mystery, and also the Jill Havern forum, which still has some excellent posters, if you ignore the ones who have concluded the case (before the police). But no more wars - please!
For the truth, and to spare yourself the entire police files or propaganda books, read the first hand account of someone who was actually there and right in the thick of it. The lead detective, Goncalo Amaral, a man born to write. His work has the easy going charm of a fireside chat with an interesting and wise old friend - you swish the pages as quickly as you can, inwardly shouting, tell me more, tell me more.
Goncalo Amaral's book, The Truth of the Lie** is the definitive book on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Dr. Amaral - yes, Dr. Goncalo is a highly educated man, the complete opposite in fact of everything that has been written about him in the UK press. One of life's gentlemen, his book has been translated by volunteers and made freely available online. That he has not clamped down on them legally (thus far) negates the McCanns argument that he wrote his book for profit. Dr. Amaral wrote his book so the whole world would know the truth of the lie. His focus has always been the little girl who disappeared, the child who lost her life. Some might say he is Madeleine's Avenger - the antithesis of all those who trying so hard to prevent the truth of her disappearance being known.
Dr. Amaral was the co-ordinating detective in the original Portuguese investigation, his position was made untenable by the interference of the British Government and his name has been demonised by the McCanns and those who assist them, ever since. He was too close to the truth and he had to go. The Truth of the Lie is based on the Portuguese investigation files (police files also freely available online) and gives a first hand account of the way in which the McCanns came to be Arguidos and the author's plans to follow up the little known sighting by an Irish family on the night Madeleine disappeared. The stage Scotland Yard seemed to have reached in last October's Crimewatch.
The real question of course, is why this book 'Looking for Madeleine' is being published and distributed in the UK, whilst the true story of Madeleine's disappearance is only available to the English speaking population online? Could it be that the McCanns through their vexatious use of lawyers have prevented 'The Truth of the Lie' from going on sale in English and in the UK? They have fought Dr. Amaral in the Courts for 5 years, to prevent his book being published and for compensation of £1m+ for the distress he has caused them and their missing daughter. The lunatics on STMs and JATYK2 (hilarious pro site filled with the best of the pros (6 tops)) are now protesting about book burning and fascism, whilst failing to see the irony of their support for the banning Dr. Amaral's book and Hacked Off!
*Mark Wahlberg has seen redeemed himself with 'Ted' :)
**http://frommybigdesk.blogspot.co.uk/ - Free English translation of Goncalo Amaral's book - though I urge everyone to buy the hard copy of the book as soon a publisher is brave enough to print it. Should that day ever arrive, I will display it on my bookshelves like a trophy!