I found The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling to be a bit like the curate's egg – good in parts. I found it difficult to get into – there were so many different characters and locations sort of popping up briefly and moving swiftly along – I felt the beginning of the book could have done with being a little bit more fleshed out – and maybe a map and list of characters (like you find in a Jilly Cooper novel) would have been a help.
The writing itself was very good – as you would expect.
The last part of the book was quite gripping. But somehow the last little bit of it was a let down in that it seemed to come to a very sudden end.
I am glad I read it – but a warning – it is pretty "gritty" and if you don't like a little sex or bad language in a book, this book is not for you.