Dr. Anton Angus Murik, Laird of Murcaldy is the main antagonist of the 1981 James Bond novel Licence Renewed by John Gardner.

Novel biography

Early Life

For many years, the Murik family had been regarded as a noble line. In 1890, the present Laird's grandfather, Angus Murik, went on an adventure to find his disinherited brother who had left out for some offense. After being missing for three months in central Europe, he returned with a pregnant foreign woman, though reported documents suggest it was not Angus who had returned, but his brother, Hamish. The child eventually became Anton's father, supposedly born out of wedlock since no reports of marriage were recorded.

Anton Angus Murik was born on December 18, 1920. That same year, his father, an adventurer since the age of eighteen, had been killed in Sicily, Italy by bandits. His "mother" returned to the Murik Castle, though newspapers reported that the Laird and his wife had been both killed. She later clarified that it was actually her maid who died in the attacks. Shortly after, she gave birth to a son, whom had been baptized as Anton Angus and took the title, Laird of Murcaldy. People within the Murik estate question the circumstances and eligibility of Anton's right to the title.

Murik was educated at Harrow and St. John's College in Cambridge where he received First Class Honours in Physics followed by a Fellowship and a Doctorate. He eventually worked under Professor Lindemann, scientific advisor to Winston Churchill, and worked on the Manhattan Project and the Committee for the Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy. Under the membership of the International Atomic Energy Commission, Murik proposed the Murik Ultra-Safe Reactor, which would provide nuclear power and safely dispose of the waste. However, the committee disapproved of the reactor citing flaws within the design; Murik requested more funding for the project and to build his own reactor, which the committee refused to lend.

Licence Renewed

While briefing James Bond of Murik's actions, M theorizes Murik became affilicated with assassin Franco Quesocriado, and are both supposedly creating a lethal nuclear device. Since Murcaldy is outside of MI6's jurisdictions, the Director-General of MI5, Richard Duggan requests that M send Bond to survey Murik. Relying on information that MI5 did not have, M changes Bond's assignment to instead infiltrate Murik's Scottish castle and gain Murik's confidence. Upon arriving in Murcaldy, Scotland, Bond arranges a coincidental meeting with Murik at the Ascot Racecourse. There, Murik wins the Ascot Gold Cup with his horse, China Blue. Under the identity of a mercenary-for-hire, Murik invites Bond to his castle to participate in the Highland Games at his castle.

That same night, Bond, spying on the castle with equipment from Q'ute, is ambushed by Caber, Murik's personal bodyguard. Mary Jane Mashkin notices Bond, and has him enter the castle. After having dinner, Bond listens on a conservation between Murik and Franco discussing their plans through a countersurveillance receiver through a bug in Murik's study room. The next morning, Bond participates in the Highland Games, where he defeats Caber. Further receiving Murik's confidence, Murik then assigns Bond to kill Franco for a sum of £50,000.

Upon capturing Bond after a violent car chase resulting in two deaths of Murik's men, Murik has Mashkin administer several hypodermic drug doses in hopes Bond will reveal his true identity. When this fails, Murik transports Bond via Blackhawk aircraft to Perpignan, France, where he escapes him at the airport. At a fashion show in the Palais des rois de Majorque, Bond kills Franco, who accidentally shoots a gelatin capsule at Mary Jane originally aimed for Lavender. Captured again, Bond learns from Murik that the gelatin capsule resulted in a fatal heart attack for Mary Jane, and that Lavender is the true heir of the Laird title. As Murik explains, his mother was his father's maid, and that his half-brother (born of Anton's father and his legal wife) was raised by the Sicilians after the raid. When Anton agreed to surrender Murcaldy to him, his half-brother and his wife, which gave birth to Lavender, suddenly died without seeing the official documents confirming they are legal heirs to the Laird title.

Tying Bond aboard his C-14 Starlifter, Murik (disguising his voice to sound like a woman's) broadcasts his message that unless the governments of Britain, France, West and East Germany, and the United States pay a ransom of $50 billion in cut gem diamonds and give the codeword, six nuclear reactor power plants will be seized by terrorist squads. Bond manages to unleash himself, and knocks out Murik. He calls off the terrorist squads cleverly guessing the codename as "Lock", Murick's nickname. After landing the plane, Bond deduces that Murik managed to escape the plane.

Back at Regent's Park, Bond theorizes that Murik is returning to his castle to destroy the documents that validate Lavender as the true Laird. Returning to Murik Castle, Bond and Bill Tanner order an escaping Murik to surrender, but he is shot down with a Gyrojet pistol.


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