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This review is from: Looking For Madeleine (Hardcover) By Enid O'Dowd Rehash of information already in the public domain and no hard questions asked



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Original Source: Amazon  review
By Enid O'Dowd 14 Sep 2014
Customer Review
This review is from: Looking For Madeleine (Hardcover)
The advertising blurb states that ‘the authors demonstrate that the speculation that the McCanns played a part in their daughter’s fate is unfounded.’

Surely that means that a significant part of the book looks at all the reasons why sceptics claim the parents might be involved, then repudiates them with logical argument and with new research material.

And, a definitive and independent book as the publisher claims this is, would need to interview the main players: the parents, their tapas friends, Senor Amaral and independent witnesses like the Smith family who saw a man carrying a child that evening. It doesn’t; none of these people have talked to the authors which is not surprising considering that the case is still open.

This book is a combination of madeleine by Kate McCann and a rehash of various sightings/news articles over the years. One has to remember that many media articles are based on press releases issued by the McCann PR team. Indeed, one poster on a popular internet site suggests that the McCanns were the ghost writers of this book!

I don’t feel the authors had an open mind as they don’t question actions by the McCanns which have raised doubts in the public mind.

For example they don’t ask why the McCanns didn’t use the paying babysitting service provided by the nannies who worked in the daytime crèche. They only mention the evening crèche, as Kate did in her book saying it did not meet her needs as her children were in bed before it opened. She also said in her book that she would not have wanted to leave them with a stranger (babysitter) yet she left them in the crèche all day with the same girls who were (initially) strangers. She praised the nannies in her book yet never mentioned the option of using their services in the evening. Why would a group of well paid professionals opt to get up every 30 minutes from their dinner to check children when a satisfactory (paying) babysitting service was available?

Kate has justified the checking service by feeling so safe in the resort. But parents use babysitters not to deter the million to one chance of a kidnapping but to deal with children waking up/bad dreams/need a drink/ wet nappies/minor health issues etc.
It is not credible that the McCanns and their friends opted for an interrupted dinner rather than paying a babysitter. This makes the abduction story highly suspect.

Why do Summers and Swan, themselves the parents of three young children, not raise this issue?

Another issue the authors don’t raise, except in passing, is the setting up of a private limited company only days after Madeleine’s disappearance. I have published original research on this company Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned on

The audited accounts of this company, despite a commitment in the book madeleine that it would be open and transparent ‘whatever it cost,’ have contained only the minimum information required by law, apart from the accounts for the period May 2007-March 2008 where detail was given, but which raised more questions than it answered. The accounts are not on the official McCann website. Why not?

Many people have queried the need for, and the secrecy of the company. Why has this not been addressed by the authors?

One interesting quotation from the book about the company:
‘The McCanns have not sought to profit from their situation – and Madeleine’s Fund has built in provisions to ensure this does not occur.’

They do not explain what those provisions are. It is not good enough to state something as a fact and not back it up.

The authors do this again in Chapter 15 which starts with the statement ‘there was never the smallest shred of fact or evidence to inculpate Maddie’s parents in any way at all.’

Even to someone whose knowledge of the case is limited, this statement is obviously untrue.

The authors do not mention the sworn statement made by the Gaspars, two doctors who went on an earlier holiday with the group. This statement has caused much concern among those who follow this case. While it may not indicate anything untoward, it was for unexplained reasons held back by the UK police for months before being passed to Portugal. It can be read on http:///

Surely the content of this statement and the delay in passing it to the Portuguese authorities is worthy of analysis by the authors?

I was very concerned by the use of the loaded word ‘haters’ to describe those who doubt the McCanns. Chapters 15 and 16 deal with prominent doubters (my preferred word), and the authors' bias comes through.

For example they mention that the website set up in 2007 by Nigel Moore has long had a donate button and still does now. Why is this negative? They admit that he, according to press reports, gives the website work his virtual full time attention. Isn’t it reasonable for him to suggest that people who use the mass of information he provides make a voluntary donation towards his running costs?

They write about Bren Ryan, former McCann doubter, who changed her mind ‘after reading the police files.’ But they do not state what therein was the cause. It would have been very interesting to hear her reasons. By way of contrast it would have been pertinent to have comments from someone who became a doubter after reading the police files.

In summary, it’s surprising that a pair of authors with such impressive CVs have come up with this rehash of the information and misinformation already in the public domain. This book is not investigative journalism. Its publication has created a new mystery. Why have the authors put their reputation on the line by producing a book like this?


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