Former U.S. intelligence officer and award-winning author pens latest book in The Able Archer series

Sarasota, FL–Following the success of his award-winning debut novel, “The Able Archers”–hailed as “a fast-paced ride” by author Jack Carr and “a revelatory thriller” by Kirkus Reviews–former U.S. intelligence officer Brian J. Morra is back with a thrilling sequel: “The Righteous Arrows” (Koehler Books, April 16, 2024).

In the hotly-anticipated second installment of The Able Archer series, readers reconnect with American Kevin Cattani and his older Soviet counterpart, Ivan Levchenko in the mid-1980s for a chilling Cold War saga of superpower confrontation. After Cattani barely escapes with his life from an East German bunker, he and Levchenko find themselves on opposite sides of the Soviet Union’s brutal war in Afghanistan, where Cattani supplies the Islamic resistance with advanced weapons to kill Russian troops. In facing new homegrown adversaries, both men question the roles they play in the deadly superpower duel. 

“The Righteous Arrows” is an electrifying story of risky competition and the enduring legacy of the global war on terror that will appeal to readers who love thrillers and dynamic historical fiction.

“The Righteous Arrows”

Brian J. Morra | April 16, 2024 | Koeler Books | Historical Fiction, Military Thriller 

Hardcover | ISBN: 979-8-88824-282-7 | $31.95

Paperback | ISBN: 979-8-88824-280-3 | $20.95

Ebook | ISBN: 979-8-88824-281-0 | $7.99

Praise for “The Able Archers”…

“Brian J. Morra is the master craftsman. ‘The Able Archers’ is brilliant.”

–Former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen

A powerful reminder of the value of human judgment and the continuing peril posed by nuclear-armed powers.”

–Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense 2006-2011

“Possibly the most important book to be published this year.”

–General Bryan Doug Brown, United States Army (Retired), 7th Commander US Special Operations Command

A fast-paced ride through one of the worst crisis periods of the Cold War. . . . a terrifying yet factual story of how a few people prevented a global nuclear war. “

–Jack Carr, Former Navy SEAL Sniper, #1 New York Times Best-selling Author

“As compelling as it is informative and as entertaining as it is terrifying” 

–NY Journal of Books

“A revelatory thriller with edge-of-your-seat, end-of-the-world suspense.” 

–Kirkus Reviews

About the Author…

BRIAN J. MORRA: is a former U.S. intelligence officer and a retired senior aerospace executive. He helped lead the American intelligence team in Japan that uncovered the true story behind the Soviet Union’s shootdown of Korean Airlines flight 007 in September 1983. He also served on the Air Staff at the Pentagon while on active duty. As an aerospace executive he worked on many important national security programs. Morra earned a BA from William and Mary, an MPA from the University of Oklahoma, an MA in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.  He is a senior fellow and member of the  Board of Regents of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank that specializes in how advanced technology influences  national security. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, the world’s preeminent think tank focused on air and space power in the 21st Century. He has provided commentary for CBS, Netflix and the BBC. His debut novel, “The Able Archers” won a National Indie Excellence Award for Military Fiction, and was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Learn more at: 

In an interview, Brian J. Morra can discuss:

  • How his experience as a U.S. intelligence officer informed his new career as a novelist
  • His experience as a consultant for Netflix’s “Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War”
  • The true story of how a few people prevented a global nuclear war in 1983, as portrayed in book 1
  • The true story of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, as portrayed in book 2
  • How the events from both books connect to foreign policy today

An Interview with

Brian J. Morra

1. How did your experience as a former U.S. intelligence officer prepare you for writing The Able Archer series? 

My books are based on my time as an intelligence officer.  So, my experience is of fundamental importance to the material in the series and to the development of the two main characters Kevin Cattani and Ivan Levchenko.

2. What was the research process like? How much of these novels are factual?

I rely first on my own memory and then attempt to validate or fix my memory through primary source material. These books are historical novels so I don’t feel a need to get everything precisely correct as one would do writing non-fiction; however I want my books to be ‘right’ on the main historical facts, so a fair amount of research is required. However, as a writer I do take certain liberties so that the action doesn’t lag for the reader.

3. In “The Able Archers,” Kevin Cattani and Ivan Levchenko work together to prevent a global nuclear crisis, whereas in “The Righteous Arrows,” they find themselves at odds with one another. What is the significance of their shifting relationship?

The relationship of Kevin Cattani and Ivan Levchenko is central to the story and it evolves and morphs over time. The two men are metaphors for the broader state of relations between Moscow and Washington and East and West, so the twists and turns of their friendship are crucial to them and to the entire saga.

4. How do the events of the 1980s, as depicted in books 1 and 2, relate to foreign policy today?

Same as it ever was, unfortunately. The relations between Moscow and Washington are as fraught today as they were in the 1980s. I think there is a direct correlation to the challenges we face today in Ukraine, the Middle East, and East Asia. A key difference with the 1980s is that we have more than one nuclear adversary to worry about today and the United States is relatively weaker now.

5. What’s next for you and The Able Archer series?

We are doing our best to get the limited TV series of “The Able Archers” launched. I will be appearing in the new Netflix documentary series this spring called “Turning Point: the Atomic Bomb and the Cold War.”  I am also preparing the third book in the series for publication next year; it is called “The Wallbreakers” and concerns the events surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall. I hope The Able Archers series provides a context for our policy makers to think about the long-term consequences of their actions. Mostly I am just having fun with it all and I hope my readers are, too!

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