Kate McCann, mother of missing Madeleine, releases book

Proceeds will go to fund financing search for child who vanished days before her fourth birthday in 2007 from a bedroom in an apartment in Praia du Luz, Portigal where the McCanns were on a family holiday.

Gerry and Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine went missing from a holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday, as her parents and their friends dined at a nearby restaurant.
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LONDON // The mother of Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old who vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007, will reveal the "endless bad dream" she has endured in a book to be published tomorrow.

Kate McCann, 43, a British doctor, will also level stinging criticism at the way Portuguese police investigated the little girl's disappearance and their attempts to blame the parents for killing her.

In her book Madeleine, the proceeds of which are going to a fund financing a continuing, worldwide search by private detectives for the little girl, Mrs McCann says that she and her husband Gerry felt "completely alone" as they searched for their daughter the day after the disappearance. Later, Portuguese police formally named the McCanns as suspects. Describing one police interrogation, Mrs McCann writes: "I felt I was being bullied, and I suppose I was.

"I assumed the tactics were deliberate - knock her off balance by telling her that her daughter is dead and get her to confess.

"On and on it went. They tried to convince me I'd had a blackout, 'a loss of memory episode', I think they called it. My denials, answers and pleas fell on deaf ears. This was their theory and they wanted to shoehorn me into it, end of story."

Madeleine disappeared from a bedroom in an apartment in Praia du Luz where the McCanns were on a family holiday.

The couple were dining with friends on the evening of May 3, 2007, at a tapas restaurant across a swimming pool about 100 metres from the apartment where Madeleine and her younger brother were sleeping. In the book, Mrs McCann admits that it "goes without saying we now bitterly regret" leaving the children unattended.

Midway through the meal, Mrs McCann went back to the apartment to check on them and discovered their young daughter had gone.

"When I realised Madeleine wasn't there I went through to our bedroom to see if she'd got into our bed. On the discovery of another empty bed, the first wave of panic hit me," she says.

"As I ran back into the children's room the closed curtains flew up in a gust of wind.

"My heart lurched as I saw that, behind them, the window was wide open and the shutters on the outside were raised all the way up. Nausea, terror, disbelief, fear. Icy fear. Dear God, no. Please, no."

In the ensuing four years, Mrs McCann says she has fallen victim to bouts of depression and even contemplated suicide.

"I had an overwhelming urge to swim out across the ocean, as hard and as fast as I could: to swim and swim and swim until I was so far out and so exhausted I could just allow the water to pull me under and relieve me of this torment."

Portugal called off its active investigation of the case in 2008. Despite supposed sightings across the world, including the Middle East, no trace of Madeleine has been found.