Bridget Jones fans have been left in a state of shock and anger after it was revealed that Mark Darcy has been killed off leaving the heroine a Twitter-obsessed single mum.
In extracts from Helen Fielding's new book, Mad About The Boy, published in the Sunday Times magazine, Bridget reveals that Darcy - her husband and father to her two children, died five years earlier.
Darcy was played by Colin Firth in the movies, with Renee Zellweger playing Bridget. The new novel comes 14 years after the second, which ended with Darcy proposing to the weight-obsessed singleton.
The cause of Darcy's death - five years before the new book begins - is not revealed.
Widowed Bridget, now 51, is now a single mother to Mabel and Billy and has found herself a 30-year-old toyboy called Roxster.
The developments have been met with disapproval by Bridget fans.
One wrote on Twitter: "One word for Helen Fielding: why?!"
Another asked: "What the hell is helen fielding playing at in the next bridget jones book!?
And Mairi Thomson said: "Saw the news about the Bridget jones sequel, it comes out on my birthday and Mark Darcy is DEAD!!!! Awful news #birthdayruined".
Fielding's first book Bridget Jones's Diary was published in 1996 and a sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was released three years later.
Written in the form of a personal diary, the novels chronicle the life of a 30-something single working woman living in London.
Are you eager to read the new Bridget Jones?