UK: Missing Madeleine's parents write book

2010-11-15 15:18

London - The parents of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann have signed a book deal to replenish the dwindling funds for the campaign to find her, the publishers announced on Monday.

The book, entitled simply Madeleine, will chart Kate and Gerry McCann's desperate search for their daughter who disappeared aged three while on a family holiday in Portugal in May 2007.

Publishing firm Transworld won the rights after a major bidding war and will release the book, which is expected to be a big seller, on April 28 next year, four years after Madeleine vanished.

"My reason for writing is simple - to give an account of the truth," said Kate McCann, aged 42, in a statement from the publishers.

She admitted the decision to write a book was taken "with a very heavy heart" but said: "In the last few months, with the depletion of Madeleine's Fund, it is a decision that has virtually been taken out of our hands.

"Every penny we raise through its sales will be spent on our search for Madeleine. Nothing is more important to us than finding our little girl."

Earlier this month, the McCanns admitted that their funds - which reportedly once stood at $3.2m - were likely to run out in the first half of next year.

Key piece of the jigsaw

The advance and all royalties will go towards the Madeleine fund.

Gerry McCann, also 42, said the book may also help in their efforts to find their daughter.

"Our hope is that it may prompt those who have relevant information - knowingly or not - to come forward and share it with our team. Somebody holds that key piece of the jigsaw," he said.

Madeleine went missing from a holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday, as her parents and their friends dined at a nearby restaurant.

The McCanns, from Rothley near Leicester in central England, say they believe their daughter was snatched from her bed and is still alive, although the police investigation into her disappearance has ended.

The couple are fighting a legal battle against former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral over his book alleging that Madeleine died in the apartment and that her parents faked her abduction - something they strongly deny.