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Finding Shannon: The Inside Story [Paperback]

Richard Edwards
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 2008
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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Press Desk Limited; First Edition edition (Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956126804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956126801
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 578,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"[Richard Edwards'] book lays bare the sights, sounds and smells of life inside Shannon's home, and traces the case right through to the dramatic Leeds Crown Court convictions, six days ago, of Matthews and her accomplice Michael Donovan."
-- Yorkshire Evening Post, 10 December, 2008

From the Author

Richard Edwards has described the process of writing Finding Shannon as a cathartic exercise. He said:

"None of the events that I have covered have been in the same league as the Shannon Matthews' saga. I felt that such a staggering story deserved to be told, in full, by someone who was there from day one and who was privileged enough to be given the trust of the good people of Dewsbury Moor."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heard it all Before! 15 July 2009
I found this book to be quite a disppointment. I was expecting to hear some new insider information about the case, but I had already heard everything at one time or another in the papers. The author kept adding bits about his personal life which were irrelevant and quite annoying as well. I was hoping to learn abit more about Shannon and what she had told the police and how she was now, but there was nothing like this in there at all.
I would not recommend this book unless you have not read much about the case already
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective 27 Jan 2009
This book covers events from the moment Shannon went missing to the conclusion of the trial of her mother and her step father's uncle for her abduction and imprisonment. Because the author was the local journalist covering the case, the book brilliantly combines an outsider's view of events including the reaction of the local community and the wider response from the UK public and media (and the clear class prejudice which was exposed) with fascinating anecdotes from his unique access to the community and family - both funny and disturbing. This is a well researched, intelligent and well written account of a case which will remain in the public imagination for a long time to come.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shannon Matthew 11 Jan 2009
I like many people were shocked to hear about the disappearance of Shannon. I was disturbed by how this was portrayed in the media as an "underclass" phenomenon. I was then even more shocked to find out how Karen Matthews betrayed her own daughter for money.
Richard Edwards book details an insight into the family, the community, various bizarre episodes during the search for Shannon and also an insight into Karen Matthews psyche and behaviour. he also delivers details of Shannon's discovery and the subsequent trial.
AN insightful piece of journalism and a good read.
I would also like to wish Shannon a future of luck and love that she truly deserves.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
This was a story that hit the national headlines and retained the country's attention for many weeks. The bizarre twists and turns were many, unexpected and ultimately tragic.

The writer uses his unsurpassed local knowledge of these events from the perspective of a local reporter who was assigned to the case from day one. The author has a highly readable style and manages to provide a unique insight into this shocking story. Many congratulations on an excellent account which I would thoroughly recommend to other readers.

Steve Watson - Gloucestershire
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT READ 21 Aug 2009
Thoroughly researched with a great depth of inside knowledge of the police case and the familes involved.

The author was able to build relationships with people in the Dewsbury community and they are portrayed in a good light not down trodden as was so often portrayed in the press.

FASCINATING read for anyone interested in true crime and for those readers that followed the case in the press.

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