Madeleine McCann went missing while her parents were vacationing in Portugal in May 2007. Four years later, on the child’s eighth birthday last week, her mother Kate released a memoir, simply entitled Madeleine, which details not only the family’s grief surrounding the disappearance, but also the pain of being vilified by the British press and Portuguese police, who suspected the parents were complicit in the crime—or at least negligent, for dining nearby while leaving three children under five alone in a hotel room. The book, which found a publisher with the help of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, is already a British bestseller and is being translated into Portuguese. The parents’ hope is to raise $1.5 million to pay for two more years of private investigators’ work.
As the McCanns were doing press to promote the book, Portuguese authorities announced that, for the first time, they were allowing London’s Metropolitan Police squad into the country to review their files. As well, British Prime Minister David Cameron instructed Scotland Yard to reopen the case, citing its “exceptional” nature and its “international dimension.”