Who doesn't like a good read before lights out at night?
As time progresses, lifestyles change. For many with busy lives and minimalist ideas, maximizing space and minimalizing on clutter, the one time part of the furniture, the book shelf filled with preferred literature, is perhaps largely a thing of the past. In this fast moving digital age, the hardback book, even the paperback, has been replaced by kindle, e-books or just perhaps some other social media source before slumber. After a hard day at work, slaving over a hot stove and looking after the kids, who really wants to flck around a load of dusty books with the feathered stick? What would the RSPB have to say?
Infancy was the dawn of bedtime reading told by mother and father. Weird scarey stories of babes lost in the wood, Cinderella and the wicked ugly sisters and more recent times, Bilbo Baggins and his diminutive pals with fantastical tales of adventure.
Later, childhood to teenager, bedtime reading progresses from childish through to slightly less childish through to imaginative through to girly or boyish development. Nowadays more likely the i-pad under the duvet! Then comes adulthood which can follow any imaginable, and sometimes unimaginable, path. Whatever, the desire for bedtime reading continues throughout time no matter what changes are introduced to alter how.
Kate McCann, the mother of the missing child Madeleine, told the world in her book 'madeleine', that her three year old daughter loved Harry Potter, not to mention Dr. Who. For most, this would appear slightly progressive for a three year old child, perhaps a little too adult for a tiny mind to process. Anyone who has read Tolkein's 'Lord of the Rings' or Mervyn Peake's 'Gormenghast' for example, will understand the point that such reading requires a mature mind to absorb and understand. It's a parent's prerogative to know what's best for their children so, Harry Potter it was!
The book 'madeleine', said to be written by Kate McCann was published late April 2011, about the same time as the Metropolitan Police launched a unit to be named Operation Grange, to coordinate all documented information and review the case of missing Madeleine McCann, three years after the Portuguese official investigation was archived. A story in itself which could be termed as bedtime reading for thousands, if not millions, of people when the PJ files were released into the public arena. Who can fault public interest in such a tragic case? But that's for another day.
Moving on to more adult bedtime reading. Jane Austin - Charles Dickens - Agatha Christie - Dan Brown - Jackie Collins - Barbara Cartland – Wilkie Collins, whatever floats your boat.
Kate McCann's book 'madeleine', adult reading beyond a shadow of doubt, was published in paperback one year later than the original hardback version, May 2012. Just in time for the summer traveler to pack for holiday reading and as the summer sun set perhaps autumn bedtime reading - or maybe just left on the coffee table to gather dust.
Now on to the more serious adult bedtime reading, definitely not for junior eyes. Enter Professor Gerald McCann, father of missing Madeleine McCann. Boy does he have a tale to tell.
Sit down, let us be comfortable as we journey back to the summer of 2007, a summer rocked by a tragic event, the mysterious disappearance of a little three year old girl, Madeleine McCann.
In the early days of the Portuguese police (PJ) investigation, they were wrongly guided, pressured, into following a specific line of inquiry - that of abduction by unknown person/s. The pressure was not only manipulated by the parents of Madeleine McCann and their group of friends, affectionately known as the Tapas 9, but by the British establishment. Although the PJ realised very early in the investigation, like Friday 4th May 2007, the day after the alarm was raised, they were unable to conduct an honest thorough routine investigation due to outside influence - the British establishment.
It was at the suggestion of a British officer, police agent Mark Harrison, in July 2007, over two months after Madeleine McCann's disappearance, that specialist dogs be seconded to Portugal to assist investigation progress. That was the turning point of the investigation, the moment the investigation turned towards the parents Gerry and Kate McCann.
During the dogs inspection, the PJ files document Gerry McCann's choice of bedtime reading:
1. The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld
2. Spirit Messenger by Gordon Smith
3. It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life, by Lance Armstrong
4. Missing and Abducted Children: A Law-Enforcement Guide to Case Investigation and Program Management, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
5. Training Courses, (CEOP Serious Organised Crime Agency – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre);
6.Making Every Child Matter…Everywhere, CEOP (Serious Organised Crime Agency – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre).
A keen sportsman can be forgiven for possessing a book about a sportsman and his passion or even a murder mystery or the mystery of the spirit world. Kate McCann's preferred bedtime reading at this particular time was a copy of the Bible, again who can be fairly criticised for possessing a copy of the holy book? However, the other reading matter found at Gerry McCann's bedside raises some questions, it certainly aroused the interest of aforementioned Mark Harrison and PJ case coordinator, Gonçalo Amaral.
At the time, the chief executive of the CEOP was one Jim Gamble. Curiously, Jim Gamble, although saying at the beginning that the parents McCann could be involved with the disappearance of their own daughter, he swiftly backtracked and became what would a appear to be a firm friend of Gerry and Kate McCann, diplomatically speaking in their favour at every given opportunity. Indeed, he played a prominent role in the McCanns defence as time progressed. It should be noted
And then .... a 'Law Enforcement Guide to Case Investigation and Program Management, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children'? Curious bedtime reading for a unremarkable holidaymaker and his wife some might say. The all important questions are .... why was Gerry McCann in possession of confidential interdepartmental working documents and who gave the documents to him and why?
Just another piece of the complex jigsaw that needs an explanation - a rational honest explanation. Something the mystery of Madeleine McCann's disappearance has been serious lacking. Through no real fault of the PJ but the apparent interference by British authorities - including Gerry McCann's extraordinary choice of bedtime reading.