The Casual Vacancy by world-renowned author J.K. Rowling is her first publication after the world-famous Harry Potter series. It is her first novel targeted at an adult audience. The story is set in an English town called Pagford, which is depicted as a peaceful and idyllic place. However, things are not as they seem, and there exists a curtain of facade behind the picture of prettiness. The serenity gets upended when the towns Parish Councillor Barry Fairbrother dies. The situation gets complicated and tensions develop as a result of the vacancy of his seat at the council. Things start to get ugly, with the development of factions, and the mudslinging and blame game that ensues. Everyone seems to be at war with everyone else: rich against poor, wives against husbands, and children against parents, with Barrys vacant Council seat acting as the biggest point of conflict. The Casual Vacancy is an impressive departure from Rowlings fantasy Harry Potter series. It deals with real-life, serious themes like class and politics, and issues of social concern such as prostitution, drugs, and rape, a far outcry from that of the books that preceded it.