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Literature / Brokenclaw

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The tenth James Bond novel (the Novelization of the film Licence to Kill being the ninth) by John Gardner, published in 1990.

Plans for a submarine tracking system and its countermeasure, joint-developed by the British and the Americans, have been stolen by one Chu-Fu Lee, also known as Brokenclaw Lee, a gangster and an agent for Red China. Bond is tasked to infiltrate his operation to ensure that the systems won't fall into wrong hands.

This novel contains examples of:

  • Antagonist Title: Brokenclaw is a name that Lee received from the Blackfoots, the Native American tribe which he belongs to.
  • Batter Up!: After losing him, Bond's FBI tailer goes looking for him in a gambling den owned by Lee. He is greeted by four men with baseball bats, who beat him to death.
  • Big Bad: Brokenclaw Lee.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Okeepa ritual at the climax is a form of this, which Bond only wins by virtue of being more worn out than his titular opponent.
  • Continuity Nod: Bond's last mission where he received the rank of Captain is briefly mentioned.
  • Damsel in Distress: After his operation is dismantled, Lee has Chi-Chi captured to lure Bond into an ambush.
  • Dirty Cop: FBI agents Noland and Wood are revealed to be on the take from Brokenclaw Lee.
  • The Dragon: Bone Bender Ding, Lee's right-hand man.
  • Expy: Brokenclaw Lee is a huge gangster stationed in the USA who is secretly working for the communists and who has built an air of mystique and the supernatural around him, just like Mr. Big from Live and Let Die.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Hung Chow H'ang, the current leader of CEDL (the intelligence service of the People‚Äôs Republic of China), wears an eyepatch over the eye he lost during the Chinese revolution in the 40s.
  • Fed to the Beast: Lee feeds people who have disappointed him to the wolves. Literally.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The submarine tracking system 'Lords' and its countermeasure 'Lords Day' are acronyms for Long Range Deep Sea and Long Range Deep Sea Detector And Yaffler.
  • Groin Attack: After Bond refuses to answer any questions from Brokenclaw after his capture, his genitals are smeared in animal fat before he is put inside the cage of Lee's wolves, so that they'll eat them first.
  • Mixed Ancestry is Attractive: The eponymous villain is half Chinese and half Native American, which gives him what are described as striking and charismatic features.
  • Operation: [Blank]:
    • The operation to retrieve the tracking systems from Lee is called "Curve".
    • The opposition also has its own operation to crash the stock exchange in Wall Street, called "Jericho".
  • Punny Name: As a joke, Lee calls one of his Chinese henchmen "Luk See".
  • Reading Lips: Bonds learns first about 'Lords' when he spots Lee talking one of his men outside the club he was visiting, and reads parts of their conversation from their lips.
  • Red Right Hand: Lee was born with condition that put the thumb on his right hand on the wrong side, making it look that he has two left hands. It is what gave him the name 'Brokenclaw' in his tribe.
  • Son of a Whore: The official story is that Lee's father was a Chinese trader who was captured by Native Americans and was later made part of them. The rumours indicate that he was an illegitimate child of a Chinese tailor and a prostitute.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Rushia throws steaks dosed with Chloral to the wolves cage in part of the attempt to save Bond from being eaten by them.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: Wanda gets inside Lee's inner sanctum by posing as a good girl who is helping her father paying his gambling debts to him with her body. She uses her position to get information about his operations to the Naval Intelligence.