Kathleen Murray Moran


Pages – 284
October 10, 2017
Amberjack Publishing
ISBN-10: 1944995323
Biographies & Memoirs




New York Post (Sept 28, 2017)

Fox & Friends (Oct 11, 2017)


Judy McDonough
512-501-4399 x 710
Twitter: @jemmcd


Kathleen Murray Moran (Long Island, NY)

Author, Life Detonated


Life Detonated is the inspirational story of triumph and about a young woman raised on the mean streets of the Bronx; she was saved by the love of a heroic NYPD bomb-squad police officer whose line of duty death causes her life to implode. It is a true story that reads like the very best fiction.” – Patrick J Lynch, President, Patrolman’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York

“An impressively candid, extraordinary detailed, ultimately inspiring read from cover to cover, Life Detonated is a consistently compelling and exceptionally personal story that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. – Midwest Book Review

“A raw, somber emotional journey that concludes with hope and a measure of forgiveness.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Life Detonated is a real New York love story about a NYPD hero from Brooklyn who meets a girl from the Bronx,  sweeps her of her feet, and starts a family. Tragically he is killed in the line of duty by a terrorist bombing. But, instead of ending there, we see his widow courageously become the ultimate survivor and learn how to take care of herself, her family, and other widows.” – Larry Celona, Journalist, New York Post



On September 11, 1976, Kathleen Murray’s life was drastically changed when her husband Brian Murray, a NYPD bomb disposal expert, was killed by a terrorist’s bomb.

Life Detonated is a powerful memoir that tells the story of a young woman’s journey out of poverty and into the arms of a vibrant young man whose life and death would forever impact her life. Finding herself seduced by one of the terrorists, whose persuasive letters from prison offered a link back to her husband, Kathleen also details the dysfunctional relationship that developed and their disastrous meeting in person.

This gripping true story is a dramatic statement on resilience in the face of devastating loss, the long road to healing, and ultimately, the empowerment found by coming away from tragedy stronger than before.


  • What drove Kathleen to write this book?
  • How does the average person deal with the deeply personal loss of a family member – while also being thrust into the media spotlight?
  • How does a widow or widower deal with the loss of a first responder spouse?
  • Is it possible to find forgiveness – and peace – after the murder of a family member?
  • How did Kathleen go from grieving widow to a life of activism and advocacy?
  • Did Kathleen’s childhood of poverty and abuse hold her back – or drive her forward?
  • What can you do to support the spouse/significant other of a first responder killed in the line of duty?


Kathleen Murray Moran holds a BA in Journalism and an MA in English from SUNY Stony Brook. She taught writing and literature at Suffolk Community College for twenty-five years.

She is the co-founder of Survivors of the Shield (SOS) and was instrumental in passing legislation that led to former Governor Mario Cuomo’s COPS program which protects the pension benefits of survivors, provides full scholarships for line of duty widows and children to all SUNY schools and a four year scholarship to St. John’s University. Kathleen is a speaker, advocate, and tireless supporter of family members of police officers who have experienced loss.

She lives on Long Island where she organizes writing and book groups.

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