There can’t be many people who don’t have an opinion about Kate and Gerry McCann.
The British couple, both doctors, were thrust into the public eye when their three-year-old daughter Madeleine disappeared from their holiday apartment in Praia de Luz in May 2007.
Four years on, they are no closer to finding her or establishing what happened to her.
Although short of startling revelations, Madeleine is a brutally honest and engrossing account of their search for answers - and their treatment at the hands of the disbelieving Portuguese police.
It is an impressive and well-written chronicle of a terrible incident, a must-read if for no other reason than someone out there knows something.
It is essentially a deeply emotional tale, detailing how what Kate describes as initial poor judgement (leaving the three children alone in an apartment with unlocked patio doors) led to shattered lives and unimaginable pain and suffering for all concerned.
It is an honest book, clearly written from the heart.
It did, on occasion, leave me with the impression that Kate was over-justifying the couple’s actions.
But this initial cynicism disappeared when it became apparent that this was a reaction to having been challenged about every little thought and deed by the police and the world’s media.
They have been forced to question themselves and justify everything.
As to what happened on that fateful night, there is no doubt in Kate’s mind that Madeleine, a much-wanted child, was abducted from the apartment.
This is the thread that runs through the book – Madeleine was snatched. End of story – no argument.
This belief, bolstered by deep religious faith, has ensured that their search is an all-consuming and on-going crusade for the whole family.
Kate McCann has constantly questioned how they behaved on THAT evening and what they could have done differently. And so has every other amateur detective and observer.
In the end, people will believe what they think.
We all make lapses of judgement - usually with no major consequences.
Kate and Gerry McCann’s lapse has left them with bitter and lifelong regrets.
And a missing daughter.
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