ISBN 9781779223616
Pages 206
Dimensions 210 x 140 mm
Published 2019
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Five Nights before the Summit

by Mukuka Chipanta

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 offers a rich tapestry of context and character in a story that engages the reader in the pursuit of justice.

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"A fantastic addition to the growing genre of crime fiction from Africa! Chipanta deftly weaves a multifaceted thriller that impels you onwards."

Tendai Huchu, author of The Hairdresser of Harare

'“Deftly drawn characters stride through this fast paced thriller, weaving a vivid tapestry of 1970’s Zambia.”

Ekow Duker, author of White Wahala

"Although typified in some blurbs as crime fiction, Mukuka Chipanta’s second novel is so much more than that: it is also a well-crafted historical novel."

About the Author

Mukuka Chipanta

Mukuka Chipanta is a Zambian aerospace engineer and author based in Maryland where he lives with his wife and daughter. Five Nights Before the Summit is Chipanta's second published novel. His debut novel, A Casualty of Power, published in 2016 by Weaver Press, received critical acclaim for its depiction of the cultural tensions between Chinese immigrants and the indigenous workers in the Zambian copper mines. The book was awarded Best First Book and Gold for General College Level Book at the 2017 Classic American Literary Awards in South Dakota, USA and longlisted for the 9Mobile (formerly Etisalat) award for African Literature in 2018.

Chipanta has an Engineering degree from the University of Manchester, UK as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut, USA and the University of Hull, UK. He works as a manager of programmes in the aerospace industry to develop cutting edge technology for commercial and military aircraft. One of his proudest professional achievements is having played an integral role in designing the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Chipanta has contributed short stories to PM World, OZY Magazine and Kalahari Review and has had stories featured in several anthologies including The Gods Who Send Us Gifts - an anthology marking the 55th Anniversary of the famous Makerere Conference on African Literature, published in 2017. In 2019 Chipanta launched Kutika! Modern African Stories, a literary podcast showcasing a collection of his short stories in audio form.