APARTHEID South Africa is the setting for the second novel written by an English teacher at a Long Sutton school.

Christopher Radmann, head of English at Lord Wandsworth College, has written The Crack, nearly two years after the publication of his first novel, called Held Up.

Set in 1976, when Mr Radmann’s native South Africa was rigidly divided along racial lines, it follows the lives of Hektor-Jan, a specialist interrogator who questions black prisoners.

Mr Radmann, who emigrated to the UK in 1999, said: “I have tried to explore my own childhood. I was nine or 10 living in a house and blissfully unaware of what was happening in the world around me.”

The teacher wrote the novel in the course of a year, getting up at 5am before the school day, and said that his pupils have helped his writing.

He said: “It’s great being part of a school where we have creative writing groups. I have got so much from my students.”

The book was launched at the school’s Gavin Hall, where Mr Radmann took part in a discussion about the novel.

The event featured two sixth form pupils as well as Tim O’Kelly, of independent bookseller One Tree Books.

The Crack is available to buy from all good bookshops and online.