This is the first book available on a case that has shocked the nation. The author, Richard Edwards, a senior reporter with the Yorkshire Evening Post, covered the story from day one, February 20th 2008, when the news desk first picked up a police report of a nine year old girl, Shannon Matthews, missing from her home in Dewsbury. As he set off that night to follow up the report, Richard never imagined that this case would dominate his life for the rest of the year. He wrote the book's final chapter on 4th December 2008 when Shannon's mother, Karen Matthews, and Michael Donovan were both found guilty of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
During the course of the search for Shannon, Richard gained the trust of Shannon's mother, Karen Matthews, and was the only news journalist to be granted access to the Matthews' family home and the close knit Dewsbury Moor community. His literally is a `behind closed doors' story of the search for Shannon Matthews. He was often inside the house with Karen Matthews as key events unfolded. This access gave him a unique perspective on the case and particularly on Karen Matthews' behaviour during the search for her daughter.
Richard's unique account of this saga is a compelling, page-turning read, which brings to life the characters and events central to this almost unbelievable tale, whilst also remaining balanced and fair-minded. It details the many twists and turns in the search for Shannon - and the reactions when she was eventually discovered. Richard also describes a number of incidents, during the search period, when he was with Karen Matthews in private, and how her behaviour changed depending on whether the cameras were rolling or not - things that puzzled him at the time but which made sense once the truth had emerged. He describes how the police net closed in and the subsequent drama of the courtroom during the trial of Karen Matthews and Michael Donovan. Richard Edwards' book also casts a searching light on what the often vicious media coverage of the Dewsbury Moor estate and its inhabitants says about Britain today.