Broken Arrow: a Nuke goes Missing

Book Cover



Manfred Leuthard

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It is the story of a case of blackmail, mostly seen through the eyes of the narrator and the principal protagonist Harry - a helicopter pilot - who ends up embroiled in a heist of a Nuclear Weapons component from the Los Alamos National Weapons Lab.



Short Summary

A mere hunch is all that insinuates an act of Nuclear Terrorism might be in the offing. Those who guard America’s nuclear weapons search for help in the race to stop the culprits and they find it at the airport. Capable help.

The story ends in Sayulita, Mexico, in a scene reminiscent of the end of the movie Casablanca - bitter-sweet. Does our protagonist lose his love?


Northern New Mexico

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise


Plot - Other Elements


Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Harry Anderson

Age: 52

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Charming,Complex,Confident,Engaging,Outspoken,Skillful,Funny,Romantic,Sarcastic,Heroic,Secretive,Seductive,Lone Wolf

Additional Character Details

Name: Erin

Age: 30

Gender: Female

Role: Tempter

Key Traits: Complex,Confident,Sexy,Engaging,Funny,Romantic,Seductive,Sophisticated

Additional Character Details

Name: Ian

Age: 50

Gender: Male

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Badass,Engaging

Additional Character Details

Name: Todd

Age: 50

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Villainous,Complex,Criminal,Decisive,Skillful,Greedy,Secretive,Leader,Masculine

Development Pitch

The story unfolds in the Southwest's high desert, mostly in the area around Los Alamos and Santa Fe. Our protagonist Harry is something of a wild character with a keen eye for the ladies. He is charming, witty, and competent. Between him and the antagonists, we will find a group of Federal security staff who are royally screwing up the defense to counter a pending heist at the Los Alamos Lab. Harry ends up taking revenge against those who murdered his best friend, Ian, mistaking him for Harry. The story ends in Sayulita, Mexico, in a scene reminiscent of the end of the movie Casablanca - bitter-sweet. Does our protagonist lose his love?

About The Author

Manfred was born and raised in Switzerland. He worked as a technician at a Nuclear Research Facility in that country, and he worked where he had been educated until he moved to Toronto, Canada, in 1965. That is where Manfred learned to fly. In the early seventies, he moved back to Switzerland and worked as a systems programmer on mainframe computers. In the early 80's he began a career at a major computer manufacturer, leading to a slew of overseas assignments for his employer who sponsored a spin-off in Culver City, California. He continued to fly an ever-longer list of aircraft, including helicopters and airliners (DC3). He has been flying helicopters commercially for five years in Santa Fe, where he is now retired. He speaks five languages, many of them poorly. He just published his first novel.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Southwest USA, pilots, counter-terrorism

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Manfred leuthard, through Amazon KDP

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available







Harry is an accomplished pilot who takes a job that ends up being more than he bargained for. Just as he starts to feel like settling down after finally meeting his romantic match, his job ends requiring him to be part a of Nuclear Anti-Terrorism mission. While he finds the task exciting and a test of his skills, it costs him dearly at the loss of those closest to him.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: FAIR

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: FAIR

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

The profile pretty accurately describes the book. It is labeled as a thriller, but it is more of an action movie or romance rather than a thriller.

Draw of Story

The threat of a Nuclear heist is very compelling and provides an ongoing external threat with many exciting pathways of what could go wrong if the mission fails. This creates a high stakes goal that has a strong emotional investment coupled with exciting action elements.

Possible Drawbacks

The romance pacing is quite sudden, so although the couple appears suitable for each other by description, there is less chemistry within their dialogue that suggests their fated match. Their relationship could be shown more than told to give Erin a personality outside of Harry's first person opinions. There are also points of view switching between scenes with third person and first person which gives different perspectives but is disorienting in trying to figure out the narrative as Harry isn't introduced as the protagonist until after the problem is discovered and he is not connected to the main conflict until sometime after his story starts. The protagonist should drive the solution to the main conflict, so the audience likes to invest in the main character first before the conflict is presented.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that there are helicopter chases involving protecting a Nuclear facility from infiltration. The high stakes of necessary success are both relevant to the group and end up becoming personal for Harry.

Fanbase Potential

This could do well in as an action movie with less romance. As of now there is almost equal parts romance and action so it would be easier to market as one or the other. If taken as a romance as the main genre, it might have a smaller audience as the protagonist of romance stories are usually female, but this originality could also be a surprise advantage to the genre if the love story is told from a male perspective.

Awards Potential

This combines two genres that don't generally do well in the awards circuit i.e. action and romance so it is unlikely to have awards potential. While it is self-compared to Casablancas which has won in the past, there little dialogue outside of the action scenes to gauge the awards potential for other categories such as writing.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The action mission is quite unique in that it is from the perspective of the good guy equivalent of a getaway driver. The helicopter scenes would be a unique visual and great new perspective on action sequences. The romance subplot as ill-fated is less original and the characters would need a unique chemistry in their dialogue to make them have greater emotional investment than the objectives of the high stakes action plot.

Lead Characters

Harry is accomplished and sophisticated in many aspect of his life. Being a helicopter pilot for private companies is an elite job that defines their individualistic and capable character. He is rare in that he has other goals aside from romance as a male in a romantic plot.

Uniqueness of Story

The romance subplot could be improved in order to make the pacing on par with the high stakes action scenes. The pacing in general takes a while to pickup as the protagonist and the main conflict are not connected for a while.

Possible Formats

Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

Analyst Recommendation



While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

By changing the story to a singular perspective, either solely Harry or their person omnipotent, it would be easier to follow the main conflict. There are lush details that provide rich mise-en-scene, but the pacing can get bogged down by these, especially the technical aspects of flying and cuisine. Many of the details are part of the setting, but when taking out the setting details, actual romance has very little verbal interaction. In order to make the investment stronger in the romance, considering adding more dialogue could help show their chemistry rather than talk about it.