NOTE: Finding Susan is now available. It may be ordered at the following venues: Southern Illinois University Press, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Finding Susan, published in October 2003 by Southern Illinois UniversityPress, is a memoir about the author's sister, Susan Hurley Harrison, a talented but troubled woman whose lack of self-confidence led her to become dependent on alcohol and ensnared in a violent second marriage.  Susan disappeared on August 5, 1994, just after visiting her estranged husband, James J. Harrison, a wealthy former chief financial officer of Baltimore's McCormick Spice Company.

The next two-plus years were a nightmare for Moran, her three brothers, and Susan's two sons from her first marriage.  They spent all of their waking non-work hours searching for Susan: putting pressure on the police, hiring a private investigator, trying to enlist the assistance of the FBI, appearing on Unsolved Mysteries and American Journal, and constantly pleading with the public for help.  Finally, the day after Thanksgiving 1996, two hikers stumbled upon Susan's remains in a remote, heavily wooded area of Frederick County, Maryland.  Two weeks later her death was ruled a homicide, caused by a severe blow to the head.

No one has ever been charged with Susan Hurley Harrison's murder.  Despite a lengthy list of Susan's calls to the police alleging abuse by her husband, and despite recorded rib fractures, lacerations, a black eye, and numerous other injuries, the Maryland state's attorney general's office concluded that there was not enough evidence to prosecute.  And so Moran and her brothers and nephews have had to live with the tormenting knowledge that Susan's murder will go unavenged.  Their pain and anger are increased every time they read yet another newspaper article about a similar case that did result in a charge and conviction—often with less compelling circumstantial evidence than in Susan's case.

It was her outrage at the unevenness of the way the law is applied in murder cases that spurred Moran to write Finding Susan.  She wanted the book to achieve for her sister the justice that Susan was denied in the courts.  The book is also intended to help other women caught in the trap of alcoholism and domestic violence; it includes appendixes providing practical advice to victims, giving domestic violence hotline numbers across the country, and recommending self-help and other books on the topics of spousal abuse and female alcohol addiction.

Although Moran continues in her career as a college professor, she is developing an avocation as an anti-domestic violence advocate.  She welcomes email suggestions from website visitors concerning conferences, newsletters, interest groups, and other resources where she might put the word out about her forthcoming book.