Please find my Amy

At the end of last year I received a phone call from a distraught mother who wanted me to ghost write a book for her about her missing daughter.  Amy Fitzpatrick had disappeared on her way home from a friend’s house on New Year’s Day 2008.  There has been no trace of her since.  Ghost writing is not my usual occupation and I was reluctant to start but it was obvious that she needed to get something written, so I agreed and spent the next few months talking to the mother Audrey and her boyfriend Dave about the ordeal they had been going through.  I would drive along the coast to where they were living in Calahonda and tape our interviews, then return home to write them up.  Email was a boon and I could email them chapters for their approval as we went along.  I tried to remain detached from their distress but it was not easy.  It was a very emotional experience.  Relating what had happened was terribly hard for them and more than once one or the other had to break off and leave the room, tears beginning to flow.  I would arrive home emotionally drained.
Being a mother it was all to easy for me to relate to their suffering.  What could be worse I asked myself, over and over again, than to lose a child and not know if they were alive or dead.
In the end the book I wrote was never published.  The family returned to Ireland and were approached by a national newspaper who wanted to publish their story but insisted on using their own writer.  This week the new version of the book is on sale.  It is entitled Please Find My Amy.  I hope lots of people buy it and that one of them remembers something, some small detail that will help the police find out what happened to Amy Fitzpatrick that night in 2008.

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Joan Fallon is a writer and novelist living in Spain.

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