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First glimpse at JK Rowling's first adult novel

Fans of the author JK Rowling were given a tantalising clue about her first novel for adults when her publisher revealed the front cover today.

'The Casual Vacancy' will be the author's first piece of published work since 2007 when the final installment of the Harry Potter series was printed.

The 512-page novel is set to be a bestseller with shops already reporting big pre-order demand.

The front cover of JK Rowling's new book Credit: Little Brown Publishers/PA Wire

The bold red and yellow cover appears to show a cross on a ballot paper but does not give away any clues about the plot of the book, which will be published on September 27th.

Ms Rowling's publisher, Little Brown, says the novel is about an idyllic town ripped apart by a parish council election following the unexpected death of Barry Fairbrother.

Little Brown described it as a "blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising" novel.

Author JK Rowling before being awarded a Benefactors Award by Edinburgh University Credit: David Cheskin/PA wire

A spokesman for booksellers Waterstones' said:

While it is great to see such a bold cover image, it'll cause frustration among those desperate to find out more about the plot. There are no clues here. As ever, the JK Rowling guessing game continues.

The Casual Vacancy will mark JK Rowling's first foray into adult fiction Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Ms Rowling has amassed an estimated fortune of more than £620 million from her seven Harry Potter books for children, plus all the spin-off rights.

The books have sold more than 450 million copies around the world and have been translated into 74 languages.