I have the book. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is in my grubby little hands. I was able to pick it up around 6 pm on saturday. I had no interest in going to one of those midnight Harry Potter parties where folks are dressed like Dementors and stuff, and the book would still be at the stores in mass quantities when I was able to get it. I had hoped to pick the book up a little bit earlier in the day than I did, but such is life.
I also know who the big death is. Not because I've read that far, I'm only on page 244. Sandy, my wife, was looking at HP spoilers saturday morning and while she wasn't telling me what happened in the book (just kept teasing me that she would) the link to a spoiler website was left in the drop down cache of previously viewed websites. She didn't realize that, nor did it occur to me. So, when I went online later that afternoon when she was out at the store I clicked the drop down to get hotmail (too lazy to type it in myself) and I see the website address: characteriskilledbyblank.com. Replace "character" with the name of the character who gets killed and "blank" with the name of the killer and you have a website address that is one big spoiler.
But it's okay. I'm not sure it ruined any suspense for me because "character" was one that I had seriously considered as the one to die. I just thought it might be in book 7, but this actually makes a little bit more sense the more I think about it. The real surprise is "blank". I didn't see this one coming, and I don't want to say more about it because...well, it just wouldn't be fair.
But Rowling is doing interesting stuff with her characters and to be honest I question the choice of "blank". Not because it is "blank" but because of something else.
Arg! It's tough when you want to talk about it but don't want folks to have major storyline points revealed two days after the book is released!!!!