The authors of a new book on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann say the publication is being targeted by a sustained campaign of abuse online.
They claim they have “received confirmation” that “vigilantes” within a Facebook group claiming some 30,000 members are intent on sabotaging the book because it concludes that the family had no role in the disappearance.
Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, who live in west Waterford, said there has been “a torrent of hate mail” largely on Facebook and Twitter, from people who persecute Madeleine’s parents and “make vile allegations on the basis of no evidence at all”.
The book has also attracted some negative commentary on the Amazon site most of which, the writers contend, “make it clear the review writers had not first read the book”.
The site also carries many positive reviews, while the book has been described as “compelling” by the Daily Telegraph.
The Richard and Judy book club labels it “forensically detailed... incredibly chilling”, while The Sun considers it “explosive”.
Between them the authors have written or co-written eight acclaimed biographies, including works on Marilyn Monroe, Richard Nixon, J Edgar Hoover, and JFK.
Their 2011 collaboration, The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 & Osama bin Laden, was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for History.
Looking for Madeleine, on which they worked for two years, claims to be “the first independent, in-depth, and definitive account” of the disappearance of the three- year-old from her family’s holiday apartment in the Algarve on May 3, 2007.
The book examines documentation and official statements pertinent to the investigation and analyses events as they unfolded before, during and since Madeleine’s disappearance, now widely presumed to have been an abduction.
The work contains “graphic detail on a series of sex assaults on little British girls prior to Madeleine’s disappearance” and names several paedophile suspects.
The book dismisses any suggestion that the McCanns were in any way responsible for the disappearance, and ask “why many people in the UK — and a majority in Portugal — speculate that the McCanns have something to hide”.
-Looking For Madeleine is published by Headline Press.
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