Kenya, 1952, a colony on the edge. Settlers drink sundowners on the veranda but the servants can't be trusted. Beyond manicured lawns, in the dark of the forest, freedom is stirring. Johnny Seymour has seen too much war and seeks solace photographing East African wildlife. But when isolated white families are slaughtered by Mau Mau gangs, the British respond brutally and Johnny is reluctantly pulled into the horror. After his African driver Macharia disappears, Johnny is forced to confront shocking truths about his own country and ask how far he'll go to help a friend. Nearly sixty years later, disgraced young barrister Sam Seymour knows nothing about her grandfather. Even his name is taboo. All she understands is that Johnny did something so awful that his only son - her father - had to be rescued from Kenya. Now as veteran Mau Mau fighters demand reparations for past sins, she's been offered a chance to unpeel history and discover why. In a twin narrative spanning the generations, White Highlands follows Sam and Johnny as they confront the might of the British state. One man stands in both their way - Grogan Littleboy, a ruthless colonial survivor who'll do anything to defeat Mau Mau, past and present. A literary thriller and epic love story, White Highlands sheds powerful light on the murky and violent history of imperialism.
John McGhie has been an investigative journalist for the BBC, Channel Four News and the Observer, where he was Political Correspondent. He made the highly-acclaimed BBC documentary about Mau Mau, White Terror.