Withdrawn Traces: Searching for the Truth about Richey Manic


Withdrawn Traces: Searching for the Truth about Richey Manic, Foreword by Rachel Edwards

by Sara Hawys Roberts and Leon Noakes

Foreword by Rachel Edwards

To be published by Virgin Books on 31st January 2019, price £20

Over two decades have passed since the disappearance of Manic Street Preachers’ lyricist and guitarist, Richey Edwards, age 27. On the eve of a promotional trip to America, he vanished from his London hotel room. His car was later discovered near the Severn Bridge, a notorious suicide spot. He has not been seen or heard of since. Richey’s disappearance remains one of the most moving, mysterious and unresolved episodes in recent pop culture history.

Withdrawn Traces – Searching for the truth about Richey Manic is the first book written with the full co-operation of Richey’s sister, testimony from his closest friends and unprecedented and exclusive access to Richey’s personal archive of diaries and letters. In a compelling real-time narrative, the authors examine fresh evidence, uncover overlooked details, profile Richey’s state of mind, and bring us closer than ever before to the truth.

‘I was 24 years old when I last saw my brother. 24 years have passed since the day that he went missing. I have been without him for half of my life.’
Rachel Edwards

Richey had a deeply idealistic and sensitive disposition which set him apart from his contemporaries on the music scene. From his diaries, lyrics and behaviour at the time it was evident that the world he wrote about troubled him greatly and, as his time with the band progressed, his own troubles played out for the world to see.


SARA HAWYS ROBERTS and LEON NOAKES have been working closely with Richey’s sister, Rachel Edwards, examining Richey’s archive and investigating his disappearance. Their new discoveries and fresh perspective, together with a range of previously unseen sources, illuminates and brings a deeper understanding of the Richey Edwards story.
For those with a basic grasp of the facts, Richey’s suicide seems obvious and undeniable, a history of self-harm, anorexia and alcoholism, together with his own self-confessed inability to love. However, a closer investigation of his actions in the weeks and months before his disappearance just don’t add up, and until now few have dared to ask the important questions. Reading through Richey’s personal archive and talking to those close to him a pattern emerges that suggests a possible life in exile. Scrutinised in detail, what appears to be an uncanny trail of puzzle pieces is maybe enough to convince even sceptics that Richey may have planned his disappearance.
Rachel Edwards has been frustrated for years at unchallenged notions about her brother’s life and disappearance. Withdrawn Traces is an opportunity to explore the evidence anew in the hope of shedding some light on his disappearance but ultimately it is a tribute to the life of Richard Edwards, to celebrate him as a unique artist, visionary, friend, brother, son and profound human being. This book is for those who miss him.


Read a review of Withdrawn Traces on the R*E*P*E*A*T website very soon.

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