Five Nights Before The Summit
It is 1979. The First Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit on African soil is due to take place in Zambia, graced by Queen Elizabeth herself. Barely a week before this much anticipated event, a white British couple, Henry and Laura Hinckley, are brutally killed on their farm on the outskirts of the capital city, Lusaka. The unknown perpetrators are at large, their motive unclear. Fearing a media backlash, the British government applies pressure on the Zambian authorities to bring the culprits to book, threatening to cancel the Queen’s trip altogether – a move that would result in huge embarrassment for the Zambian government.
Detective Maxwell Chanda, head of the Special Crimes Investigative Unit, is the man tasked with leading the investigation. He is a wise, steady hand, but will he be able to piece together the seemingly disparate evidence in just five days? Will he be able to hold firm under the intense political pressure which insists on putting expediency above accuracy?
Five Nights Before The Summit is Chipanta’s second novel published by Weaver Press, Zimbabwe.