The early death of a small-town councilman reveals deep-rooted conflicts in the seemingly idyllic community of Pagford. In the face of cultural disputes, generation clashes and a volatile election, Pagford's peaceful facade rapidly deteriorates.
In softcover nonfiction, Chuck Thompson makes the case for Southern secession, and Adam Winkler explores the history of the American gun control battle. In fiction, Rowling tries her hand at a novel for grown-ups.
The Casual Vacancy is worlds away from Hogwarts and Harry Potter. It's a dark comedy of manners, set in a small town in the aftermath of a local politician's death. Rowling says her experiences with poverty informed her gritty portrayal of English life.