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Maddie cop reveals he is writing second book as ninth anniversary brings rush of new stories

As the seemingly eternal mystery of what happened to Madeleine McCann exactly nine years ago fills yet more space in newspapers and on television, there has been a rush of ‘new stories’ – centering on anything from the Met’s unerring theory of a botched burglary, to a “secret visit” by Kate McCann last week to “walk the streets of Praia da Luz” and “hammer blow” revelations that controversial former investigator Gonçalo Amaral is writing a second no doubt controversial book.

Through the habitual noise of ‘anniversary stories’, we have been told by UK tabloids that the Metropolitan Police is gunning for three Portuguese men – among them a drifter and a drug addict – but that PJ detectives have been loath to sanction further requests for interviews, as they say there is no evidence.

What has changed – markedly in Portugal – is public discussion suggesting Madeleine’s disappearance may not have been an abduction at all but that, for ‘political reasons’, Metropolitan police orchestrating Operation Grange are simply not at liberty to think outside the box.

Over the weekend, former PJ detective Moita Flores explained it was possibly for “compassionate reasons” that the McCanns were not prosecuted for leaving their sleeping children alone in the first place – stressing that in Portuguese culture “that kind of behaviour would not be tolerated as reasonable”.

And in UK stories centred on the McCanns having pulled out of anniversary radio and talk show appearances, citing Amaral’s recent libel win as the reason.

But perhaps the ‘bombshell’ story – certainly the one that UK tabloids seemed to think piles “fresh agony” on Madeleine’s parents – is the fact that Amaral is planning a new book on the three-year-old’s disappearance: one in which he “revisits the timeline”, says the Express.

It is a book that he has been writing since 2009, and which he now says “with the probable departure of Scotland Yard from the investigations” is coming to an end.

Amaral told the Express over the weekend that he firmly believes a proper reconstruction of the night Madeleine went missing “could produce a vital breakthrough in the £12 million investigation”.

Crucial would be the engagement of the man seen carrying a child in his arms, Amaral told the Express.

But as the tabloid explains, according to Scotland Yard, this man has been eliminated as an “innocent holidaymaker”.

Adding to obstacles is the information given to the paper that Madeleine’s parents “do not wish to engage with anything Amaral says”.

Thus it is another year with no answers – only different from all the others because Gonçalo Amaral’s book that the McCanns so object to is once more on sale in bookstores – and because Scotland Yard has revealed its investigations are close to an inconclusive end.

As if to add a touch of further surreality to the anniversary, a pop single has been released, entitled I Hope bringing a number of music stars together to sing for Madeleine and all Britain’s lost children.

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