23 May 2011

Review: Vanished by Danny Collins

The case of Madeleine McCann gripped Europe during 2007, when the three year old went missing from her holiday villa never to be seen again. Her mother, Kate McCann has recently released a book telling the family's version of her disappearance and I thought it was an opportune time to read the earlier published account of the disappearance by investigative journalist Danny Collins.

From GoodReads
Whilst at first glance the book seems to be an impartial account of the case, it soon becomes apparent that it is really written from the position that the McCann's were completely innocent of any wrongdoing, even in leaving their children unattended, and focuses on discrediting the police investigation and criticizing the media; slightly hypocritical of a investigative journalist. At points the writer goes off on a tangent, telling tantalising stories about other missing children, even those who have been missing for decades and bear no relevance to the McCann case, abuse in children's homes or accusing all gypsies of being child abductors who frequently traffic children across Europe to use in begging operations.

Overall the book could have really been half the length, detailing the facts of the case, and many of the chapters seem out-of-sequence and almost cut and paste from random articles on child abduction, rather than being an analysis of the investigation. As it was published in 2008 it is also woefully out of date, although progress in the case has been slow, and Madeleine has still not been found. It's only redeeming features are is it's ease to read and that it supports the less sensational theory that Madeleine wandered off from an unlocked and unsupervised villa rather than being abducted from her bed. It's rating is given as I did manage to finish it, albeit skipping paragraphs near the end, but other than that was not a joy to read, and a waste of £4 considering all the information could readily be found online.

Vanished is available from Amazon UK


  1. Good breakdown of why this is a mediocre book. Thanks for the review.

  2. Good review. I had been following this case in the news when it broke, but all I can say is, whatever happened to the poor girl, parents/caretakers everywhere, wake up! You cannot leave a young child alone when you are not in the house/hotel room they are in. Children do wake up and wander, and this is what the outcome could be. I don't have a strong urge to read this book, but I did enjoy your take on it, Rae

  3. Thanks for commenting.

    I would say that if you hold that view, then your probably right to not read this book, as it will likely frustrate you as it did me. I am hoping to read Kate McCann's book and review it later in the year, so keep your eyes peeled.


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