They are going to find it very tough indeed to write, but that’s their problem, not ours. At the end of it, after the serializations which, like their version of the archiving report, will be the spin, not the reality, we, and the reviewers, will have their book before us, the words fixed for ever.
The blog specifically avoided the whole question of truthfulness, for “operational reasons” and the needs of judicial secrecy; the introduction of spokespeople guaranteed that they could not be held to account for their words because spokespeople are always “deniable”; the interviews they have given, all rigidly structured beforehand, tell us literally nothing except about their demeanour.
Now they will be heard in their own words and it is Mission Impossible. Every sentence will be picked over within weeks to compare it with the police evidence, from both Portugal and Leicester, and with the court record from Lisbon. For the first time any untruths they tell will be on record - not “misunderstood” or “out of context” - and admissible in court. And what they leave out will be as significant as what they put in.
The McCanns still mean money. The decline in their personal value results from them having nothing new or interesting to say, only tired repetition, giving the media nothing to spin a new story round. But the readership for descriptions of the case from beyond the parents’ ambit remains potentially huge.
Without claims, and plenty of them, the book can’t sell. And the number of true claims made by the parents in the past is pretty limited, isn’t it? So it’s a brave decision.
Or is it?
For there is something about their decision-taking over recent months that makes one pause. They are acting, well, weirdly.