Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson 2004

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On the Run - A Mafia Childhood
by Gregg and Gina Hill
Warner Books
ISBN 0-446-52770-X
Published October 2004 - Hardcover - 245 pages - $24.95

What an incredible read this books is.  Told in turns by son Gregg and daughter Gina, wiseguy Henry Hill's children tell their story of how they grew up in New York with a gangster father.  How he got involved with the Mafia, scam artists, killer thugs, and thieves.  Their story reads like a movie script and I had to keep reminding myself this was real, not made up.  Criminals like Hill really existed (and still do) and lived "normal" lives until the day things cave in and they have to get out of town, literally.  The saddest part was how his brutishness and belligerance affected his family; his wife and two very young children.  Not only was he involved in all sorts of "deals", he gambled and drank heavily too.  He lead a kind of "I'm entitled to anything and will stop at nothing to get what I want" kind of life, which had severe consequences, both psychological ones and physical ones for everyone around him.  Being removed from their home in New York and becoming "new" people in the Witness Protection Program, in return for Hill's testimony and help in convicting other mob members, had serious repercussions for all.  Learning to rely on your wits and quick thinking at such a young age, so as not to give yourself and your family away and run the risk of being found and eliminated by the bad guys, was tremendously tough on the two children.  This is the remarkable story of how they saw life as a family on the run, how they coped, and what it was like living with a psychotic father, when he was home.  Be thankful for small mercies.
Conclusion - Fascinating and an understanding of how evil people can be. BookBrowser


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