The village of Pagford is left in shock when a local resident dies suddenly. Pagford is seemingly an English idyll, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a community at war. The empty seat left on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest battle the village has yet seen.
The parish council election approaches and Pagford is on tenterhooks awaiting the next post from 'the Ghost of Barry Fairbrother'. Who is the Ghost, and what will they say? Is anyone in the village safe from humiliation? As tensions rise, the finger of suspicion points in many directions.