Review by Melanie Davis
As an Inspector with the United States Marshal’s Witness Protection Program, author George Dapra can tell stories that had been carefully hidden. With special authorization from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Dapra allows us to meet people and see events that carry added fascination because they were previously confidential… and confidential for good reason.
Non-Disclosure begins with Dapra sharing his own memories of growing up in an Italian-American family around the Mafia and those who would later be put into the witness protection program he describes. Full of the love, warmth and adventure of his youth, his stories highlight the neighbors and children around him as well as some of his exploits which helped shape his character and approach to life. I found these chapters entertaining and enjoyable to read; they quickly pull you in and make you want to read more as his life only grows increasingly exciting with each chapter.
Eye-Opening and Behind the Scenes
In Non-Disclosure, we gain insight into the eye-opening work of the U.S. Marshals and the Witness/Security program. It is not a Hollywood movie portrayal, but the real stories as they happened. Many names and places had to be excluded, but you won’t ever doubt that Dapra is sharing actual stories, in detail and with precision that only a participant can relay. “Family” appears as a common theme throughout the book, including the author’s loved ones, the Mafia version of family as well as the individuals belonging to the Mafia — a kind of extended family. He continues this thread when he compares the witnesses’ experiences to that of his own family members who faced the challenges of immigration and assimilation into a new world.
In this book, we get to go behind the scenes with Dapra and through his eyes, witness his work with such notable people as Muhammed Ali (pre-USMS), deputies, mob Capos and the dealings with Elian Gonzalez, a young Cuban boy who was at the center of a heated 2000 controversy involving the governments of Cuba and the United States. Interacting with such a wide array of people and backgrounds required a steady, cool head, and the ability to gain and maintain trust. Readers are made privy to some of the details and cases of the Organized Crime Syndicate and al Qaeda witnesses. These witnesses chose the Protection Program to escape their former lives in exchange for providing information and testifying against defendants.
Dapra skillfully brings his book to life through his deft recollections and insights. After seeing the work of our U.S. Marshalls through his eyes, I felt a sense of gratitude for the hidden work being done to protect our country, and to shield those who play a key role in assisting that goal. I highly recommend Non-Disclosure, as it competes with the best Hollywood has to offer, with the added wonder of being true!
Melanie Davis of Laura’s book review team is the bestselling author of The Triumph Book: HEROES.