Christian Hook’s problems are growing daily. As the build-up intensifies for the 2012 Olympics, London wilts beneath the onslaught of a heatwave, racial tensions and failed terrorist attacks. Hook finds himself seeking escape from abstinence, family and routine in the search for something better, something new.
In ten short days Hook’s life spirals out of control; his only hope is a tip-off from a mysterious and alluring stranger who needs his help. Unable to resist being pulled in deeper, Hook finds himself increasingly immersed in a world of violence, anger and destruction.
Having thrown himself into freefall, Hook soon realises there’s no going back to his safe old life – and he’s not sure he would even if he could.
In July 2009 "Bookgroup.info" awarded "Out of Office" the prestigious title of "book of the month“ won in other months by writers such as Ali Smith, Sarah Hall, Cormac McCarthy and Hilary Mantel:
"Mark Piggott is a talented and exciting writer; his novel is original, powerful and fast-moving, and takes the reader, all unprepared, into places he would probably have avoided had he been warned. But from page one it is too late; he is being hurtled along and he cannot get off."
- Paula McMaster, "Bookgroup.info"
"Piggott's writing conjures evocative portraits of individuals lumbering between political correctness and more culturally ingrained biases. He possesses a way with metaphor and analogy which, when utilised sparingly and with a lightness of touch, rivals Martin Amis. He is expert at offering up succinct definitions of the quite complex web that multiculturalism, changing technologies and generational misunderstandings can weave around us."
- "Outside Left" magazine issue 22“This is a book that really makes you think about contemporary Britain and the difficult issues of race and class with which it is still grappling. It's also a book that resists easy answers and skewers political correctness. Mark Piggott wrote a few months ago in The Independent that British `state of the nation' novels tended to fall under the radar, but he has written one here that deserves a wide audience. I think it's worth reading for anyone who's interested in understanding Britain in 2010, and where it might be in a few years' time.”
“A great British voice – pithy and powerful”