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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Arresting the Police

 
How do you feel about the conclusion of our story? Were the police the villains? If you were to pit Grens and Wilson against each other in summing up what happened in Piet Hoffmann's operation, how would  they each describe the necessities and the criminal wrongs of what happened here?
 
Can you pinpoint where you think the police and officials crossed the line in this story, if you think they did?
 
Is it necessary that police work now involve criminals? Is it necessary for police to lie to each other and to the public, to even take part in criminal activity to solve crimes? Are Grens and Agestam being naive to think otherwise?
Do you find a difference between American and European attitudes to these questions?
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dhaupt
Posts: 11,828
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Arresting the Police

I loved the entire novel however in the end I wondered if the end justified the means and I thought that police higer ups used the sacrifice the few for the many and it's such a grey area that I really make my head hurt trying to decide who was the real villain here. I know the police officials were, but as to what their punishment should be, I have no idea.

 

I think the police crossed the line when they decided that for whatever reason Piet was not only expendable but they wanted to get rid of him

 

I think that this kind of stuff goes on no matter where you are

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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Arresting the Police

Poetic justice! I was thrilled to see that those behind the scenes pulling the strings in other people's lives were finally caught in their own game. The term "CYA" ended up hanging them. They were treated much better by those arresting them than they had treated Piet, Grens, and who knows how many others. Wilson, like the higher up's, believed it was fine to send people under cover and be their handler. My impression of this attitude is that the infiltrators had been in prison, they were having their crimes wiped away, so therefore they were expendible. That is so wrong on so many levels! I keep coming back to the prisoners who became hooked on the drugs because of all the work by the mafia and the police. No one came to bat for them, no one wanted to help them kick the habit.

 

No, I don't think it is necessary to either use criminals or to become a criminal in order to catch criminals. All that does is put temptation in front of people who should be either doing time or solving crimes. Piet proved that by cutting the drugs again so that he could make a profit. He never totally got rid of the criminal part of his life. Were Grens and Agestam naive in believing that good police work solves crimes? No, I don't think so. People are never expendible.

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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BookWoman718
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎01-28-2007

Re: Arresting the Police

[ Edited ]

Rachel-K wrote:
 
How do you feel about the conclusion of our story? Were the police the villains? If you were to pit Grens and Wilson against each other in summing up what happened in Piet Hoffmann's operation, how would  they each describe the necessities and the criminal wrongs of what happened here?
 
Can you pinpoint where you think the police and officials crossed the line in this story, if you think they did?
 
Is it necessary that police work now involve criminals? Is it necessary for police to lie to each other and to the public, to even take part in criminal activity to solve crimes? Are Grens and Agestam being naive to think otherwise?
Do you find a difference between American and European attitudes to these questions?

I thought on the whole it was a satisfying conclusion.  The only ones who know Piet survived are those who were, in the end, sympathetic to his situation.  I think that means it will easier for him to convincingly disappear into a new life, with Zofia and the kids waiting for him at a prearranged place, and a solid nest egg to tide them over. 

 

 I don't disapprove of law enforcement officials using sources who are undercover, 'snitches' and the like.   It's often the only way to get inside information sufficient to break an organization, and I believe it's probably done everywhere, by all levels of government, in trying to shut down various types of criminal, spy, seditious, and terrorist organizations,  If an insider can be 'turned', it can bring useful information that isn't otherwise available.   I suspect that this process does lead to involvement in various types of criminal (or any of the the other) activity.  The informant has to be believable to be allowed access to the people inside, all of whom are themselves engaged in the activity.  He/she has to fit in. 

 

It is necessary for police to sometimes lie to one another because certain people and cases are extremely sensitive, and those handling those cases have to protect their sources and  keep confidential information from leaking out to too many people.  After all, the opposing forces (criminals) have their spies inside the police, as well.  It's a 'need to know' situation.  Breaking someone's cover can be extremely dangerous, both for them, and for the ultimate resolution of the case.   It isn't unusual to give people a doctored identity, sometimes a complete fictional background, laced with enough factual info to make them believable to anyone who might be checking. 

 

Where the police went so horribly wrong in this case, was the decision by Goransson to call in the dogs and burn Hoffman, instead of using his superior position and whatever other tools he might have had, to turn Grens away for some period of time until the mission could be completed.  It was unconscionable to leak his informer status to criminals inside the prison who everyone knew would try to kill Piet;  and no one could really believe that the person who sets such a thing in motion is any less guilty because they didn't use the shank on Hoffman themselves.  It's 'reckless endangerment" to the nth degree...  Actually, those actions are so obviously egregious  that that was the singular least believable part of the plot to me, which is why I asked the authors several questions around that issue. 

 

One of those questions was to ask the authors if this book is loosely based on any real life case in which the police and/or other authorities took actions of a similar nature; setting up one of their informants to be killed.   I hope not.   I have no idea  if this is a reality either in the US or Europe;  I'm inclined to believe that police attitudes and activities are similar across national boundaries.  Erik, after all, is in the US for training when the book opens. 

 

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PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008
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Re: Arresting the Police

I thought that the police being arrested was one of the best storyline twists that I've ever read. I didn't see it coming. All the way through the book we were told that it "takes a criminal to play a criminal". It seems like the police took that idea one step farther to justify their own actions. I kept wondering why Grens couldn't know about Hoffmann, and of course, it was because the police officials were protecting themselves more than their operation. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking about how the story would have played out if it had been set in the US. I've decided that it wouldn't be that different. What is right has to win in the end. There would have been a US cop just like Grens to make sure that happened.

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Arresting the Police

First let me say,  I really enjoyed the book. There was no gratuitous sex and although there was violence, it had its place and purpose. The book kept me in suspense and kept me guessing. In the end, I was still guessing!

 

1-Why was Lorentz in the story? What real purpose did he serve? Was he just a source of money for Piet? Does he get caught in the web, in the end? Was he just there to provide the means for Piet to escape?

2-How does Grens afford such a magnificent apartment on a police officer's salary? I thought he was a rude, cantankerous man but I forgave him because of the guilt he carried and the awful tragedy he suffered.

3-Where are Piet and Zofia? Is there a sixth book coming which will answer all the loose ends?

4-Zofia was just a minor character and I expected her to grow into a major one. How did she pull this off? We really don't know. Where did she go? Will she and Piet and the children be able to establish a new life without help from others?

5-Wilson remains aloof. Does he ever find Piet and help him? Would he even look for him if he could or simply forget him? He had served his purpose.

6-Do any of the conspirators really get punished? After all, they really were not a party to the murder of someone innocent. Piet is still alive.

7-I thought Sven's wife was petulant and a bit spoiled and unrealistic. She knew what kind of a job her husband had and knew Ewert Grens was not the easiest man to work for.

8-Is the project blown by the DA Agestan? Are they really arrested?

As Ewert says, What's real isn't quite real?How relieved he was to find out he didn't murder Hoffmann!

 

 

 

 

 


Rachel-K wrote:
 
How do you feel about the conclusion of our story? Were the police the villains? If you were to pit Grens and Wilson against each other in summing up what happened in Piet Hoffmann's operation, how would  they each describe the necessities and the criminal wrongs of what happened here?
 
Can you pinpoint where you think the police and officials crossed the line in this story, if you think they did?
 
Is it necessary that police work now involve criminals? Is it necessary for police to lie to each other and to the public, to even take part in criminal activity to solve crimes? Are Grens and Agestam being naive to think otherwise?
Do you find a difference between American and European attitudes to these questions?

 

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nfam
Posts: 231
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Arresting the Police

I felt Grens and Agestam did the right thing arresting the upper level police. Personally, I have no problem with using criminals to catch criminals. "Takes a crook to catch a crook." is an old maxim. Where the officials crossed the line was using Grens as a tool to get rid of Hoffman. I felt that the senior officers, and I don't include Wilson in this, had completely lost sight of justice. They were looking for legal loopholes to excuse them from responsibility. 

 

I felt Wilson was different. He cared about Hoffman. If he hadn't been out of the country, I think he would have tried to get him out instead of going along with the people who burned him. I suppose that's why the authors had to put Wilson out of range. It would have complicated the story line too much. I think Grens and Wilson were much more alike in searching for justice than the other police. 

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fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Arresting the Police


PiperMurphy wrote:

I thought that the police being arrested was one of the best storyline twists that I've ever read. I didn't see it coming. All the way through the book we were told that it "takes a criminal to play a criminal". It seems like the police took that idea one step farther to justify their own actions. I kept wondering why Grens couldn't know about Hoffmann, and of course, it was because the police officials were protecting themselves more than their operation. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking about how the story would have played out if it had been set in the US. I've decided that it wouldn't be that different. What is right has to win in the end. There would have been a US cop just like Grens to make sure that happened.


My twist on the police is that they were actually involved in the drug trade in the prison.  That explaines Piet's phone message to Wilson....Mission accomplished.  He got rid of the inside contacts, and then got Gren's the info to arrest the police higher ups, and now they are out of the picture as well.  How else can you explain why the Commish was so adament about not letting Gren's talk with Hoffmann.  

MG

 

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PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008
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Re: Arresting the Police


fordmg wrote:

PiperMurphy wrote:

I thought that the police being arrested was one of the best storyline twists that I've ever read. I didn't see it coming. All the way through the book we were told that it "takes a criminal to play a criminal". It seems like the police took that idea one step farther to justify their own actions. I kept wondering why Grens couldn't know about Hoffmann, and of course, it was because the police officials were protecting themselves more than their operation. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking about how the story would have played out if it had been set in the US. I've decided that it wouldn't be that different. What is right has to win in the end. There would have been a US cop just like Grens to make sure that happened.


My twist on the police is that they were actually involved in the drug trade in the prison.  That explaines Piet's phone message to Wilson....Mission accomplished.  He got rid of the inside contacts, and then got Gren's the info to arrest the police higher ups, and now they are out of the picture as well.  How else can you explain why the Commish was so adament about not letting Gren's talk with Hoffmann.  

MG

 


You're right, I hadn't picked up on that. I love the detail in this book even though sometimes I didn't connect all the pieces.

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
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amusingmother
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-05-2010
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Re: Arresting the Police

I found the police being arrested was very satisfying.  I like to have justice be served in a fashion that I am satisfied, and I was.  Of course there are exceptions to rules, but rarely.  If the law applies to the common man, the law applies to law enforcement.

 

I can't pinpoint the exact moment where I felt like I needed to take a shower due to the police criminal activity and playing God.  It just crept up more and more.

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Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007

Re: Arresting the Police

 

How do you feel about the conclusion of our story? Were the police the villains? If you were to pit Grens and Wilson against each other in summing up what happened in Piet Hoffmann's operation, how would  they each describe the necessities and the criminal wrongs of what happened here?

I thought the conclusion of the story was perfect.  The police were villains, but until they made the phone call to burn Piet, I think they were operating with good intentions.  
Because everyone has their own truth, I'm sure Grens and Wilson would sum up what happened totally opposite of the other.  Grens does not see shades of gray, everything is black or white; good versus evil.  Wilson, on the other hand, believes that the ends justify the means. 
 
Can you pinpoint where you think the police and officials crossed the line in this story, if you think they did?
 I have no problem with undercover operations and, in my opinion, Piet worked for the police department, it was his job.  The police crossed the line when they burned Piet, because what they did was the same as commiting a premeditated murder. 
Is it necessary that police work now involve criminals? Is it necessary for police to lie to each other and to the public, to even take part in criminal activity to solve crimes? Are Grens and Agestam being naive to think otherwise?
 I think police organizations will always have paid informants and I don't have a problem with paying people who give honest information.   I do have a problem with criminal activities being ignored so that criminals will continue to inform on others.
I thought the amount of deception in this novel was, while probably accurate, crazy.   It would have been so easy for Erik Wilson to have confided in Grens after the murder, but he chose to let Grens continue to investigate. 

 

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Deltadawn
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Arresting the Police

 

This is so well said, BookWoman718!


BookWoman718 wrote:

Rachel-K wrote:
 
How do you feel about the conclusion of our story? Were the police the villains? If you were to pit Grens and Wilson against each other in summing up what happened in Piet Hoffmann's operation, how would  they each describe the necessities and the criminal wrongs of what happened here?
 
Can you pinpoint where you think the police and officials crossed the line in this story, if you think they did?
 
Is it necessary that police work now involve criminals? Is it necessary for police to lie to each other and to the public, to even take part in criminal activity to solve crimes? Are Grens and Agestam being naive to think otherwise?
Do you find a difference between American and European attitudes to these questions?

I thought on the whole it was a satisfying conclusion.  The only ones who know Piet survived are those who were, in the end, sympathetic to his situation.  I think that means it will easier for him to convincingly disappear into a new life, with Zofia and the kids waiting for him at a prearranged place, and a solid nest egg to tide them over. 

 

 I don't disapprove of law enforcement officials using sources who are undercover, 'snitches' and the like.   It's often the only way to get inside information sufficient to break an organization, and I believe it's probably done everywhere, by all levels of government, in trying to shut down various types of criminal, spy, seditious, and terrorist organizations,  If an insider can be 'turned', it can bring useful information that isn't otherwise available.   I suspect that this process does lead to involvement in various types of criminal (or any of the the other) activity.  The informant has to be believable to be allowed access to the people inside, all of whom are themselves engaged in the activity.  He/she has to fit in. 

 

It is necessary for police to sometimes lie to one another because certain people and cases are extremely sensitive, and those handling those cases have to protect their sources and  keep confidential information from leaking out to too many people.  After all, the opposing forces (criminals) have their spies inside the police, as well.  It's a 'need to know' situation.  Breaking someone's cover can be extremely dangerous, both for them, and for the ultimate resolution of the case.   It isn't unusual to give people a doctored identity, sometimes a complete fictional background, laced with enough factual info to make them believable to anyone who might be checking. 

 

Where the police went so horribly wrong in this case, was the decision by Goransson to call in the dogs and burn Hoffman, instead of using his superior position and whatever other tools he might have had, to turn Grens away for some period of time until the mission could be completed.  It was unconscionable to leak his informer status to criminals inside the prison who everyone knew would try to kill Piet;  and no one could really believe that the person who sets such a thing in motion is any less guilty because they didn't use the shank on Hoffman themselves.  It's 'reckless endangerment" to the nth degree...  Actually, those actions are so obviously egregious  that that was the singular least believable part of the plot to me, which is why I asked the authors several questions around that issue. 

 

One of those questions was to ask the authors if this book is loosely based on any real life case in which the police and/or other authorities took actions of a similar nature; setting up one of their informants to be killed.   I hope not.   I have no idea  if this is a reality either in the US or Europe;  I'm inclined to believe that police attitudes and activities are similar across national boundaries.  Erik, after all, is in the US for training when the book opens. 

 


 

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MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Arresting the Police

  When those responsible for the misleading and ultimate deaths and criminal intents are brought to justice, it is justified.  It doesn't matter who is at fault.  The police had a responsibility to protect Piet and they dropped the ball.  First of all, by allowing a leak to infiltrate the prison, right after Piet is setting up, dooms his existence from the start.  When the officials find out that Piet's cover has been compromised, they fall back into a defensive mode, to protect themselves and forget all about the person they have placed in peril.  They know what will happen and do nothing to prevent it. 

  When Gren's proves to the Prosecutor what has been going on since before the scene at the prison, he also uncovers other inproprities from apparently several other cases, which made the Prosecutor look bad.  You don't want to do that.  Some how and some way I knew that it would come back to bite them. 

 

 

 


Rachel-K wrote:
 
How do you feel about the conclusion of our story? Were the police the villains? If you were to pit Grens and Wilson against each other in summing up what happened in Piet Hoffmann's operation, how would  they each describe the necessities and the criminal wrongs of what happened here?
 
Can you pinpoint where you think the police and officials crossed the line in this story, if you think they did?
 
Is it necessary that police work now involve criminals? Is it necessary for police to lie to each other and to the public, to even take part in criminal activity to solve crimes? Are Grens and Agestam being naive to think otherwise?
Do you find a difference between American and European attitudes to these questions?

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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MBSpencer
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Arresting the Police

When they decided to burn Piet, they burned him.  Working in the corporate world this is true as well.  No thought is given to a life by those in power.  Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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maxcat
Posts: 4,011
Registered: ‎11-01-2006

Re: Arresting the Police

The end was something of a surprise to me in that all the work done by Grens paid off and the police and prison officials were the ones to blame for the whole mess they created. I don't think Grens overstepped his boundaries in searching out material that was vital to the root cause of what was happening to Piet. Wilson, on the other hand, supplies past criminals as chances to infiltrate prisons and gain knowledge of certain mafias. To him, it didn't matter if he lost Piet or not. In today's world police relie on informants and people who can infiltrate prisons to gain information for them. It is a worldwide use that the police have on hand.

I don't think Grens and Agastam were being naive about this whole matter. Grens pieced together what had happened and after much thought and disbelief at first, Agastam agreed that three police and prison officials should be arrested for their tactics.

I think European attitudes towards imprisonment are a bit more relaxed than our American system.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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BookWoman718
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
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Re: Arresting the Police


maxcat wrote:

The end was something of a surprise to me in that all the work done by Grens paid off and the police and prison officials were the ones to blame for the whole mess they created. I don't think Grens overstepped his boundaries in searching out material that was vital to the root cause of what was happening to Piet. Wilson, on the other hand, supplies past criminals as chances to infiltrate prisons and gain knowledge of certain mafias. To him, it didn't matter if he lost Piet or not. In today's world police relie on informants and people who can infiltrate prisons to gain information for them. It is a worldwide use that the police have on hand.

I don't think Grens and Agastam were being naive about this whole matter. Grens pieced together what had happened and after much thought and disbelief at first, Agastam agreed that three police and prison officials should be arrested for their tactics.

I think European attitudes towards imprisonment are a bit more relaxed than our American system.


Interesting.  It seemed clear to me that Erik was very relieved and happy to learn that Piet had escaped.  (see last paragraph of page 485, where he smiles to himself.  Where he had 'dared to hope.')    I think going into the mission he had tried to arm him with everything Piet needed to survive inside, including a 'get out of jail free' card from the highest authorities he could assemble.  Up until the last moment of preparation, he assured Piet that he could pass on the assignment if he wasn't confident he could pull it off.  He urged Piet to talk to his wife, no doubt foreseeing the time when the two would need to trust each other completely as they tried to disappear into a new life.  Erik needs to keep an aura of professional distance whenever he talks to others about Piet.  It wouldn't do for him to seem too close to an asset.  But we the readers can see a little more of his true feelings.  He's gotten closer than he should. 

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kboston
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎04-12-2008
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Re: Arresting the Police

It's an interesting conclusion to the story.  Three high ranking officials that get arrested for hiding details in over 300 investigations that were either convicted incorrectly or thrown out of court because of insufficient evidence, when the police had the evidence all along.  The police crossed the line in the story when they decided to burn their informant, because they thought he would spill information about the recent murder they were covering up to catch the polish mafia.

Yes, it's necessary that police work involves criminals, because it gives the organizations insight they wouldn't have if there weren't informants. 

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lisapt
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Arresting the Police

I was pleasantly surprised by the arrests. I figured they would walk free. I think the authorities crossed the line when they went back on their work to Piet. As far as authorities keeping secrets from each other for the "greater good," I honestly believe that it must be done, sometimes. However, it will always lead to some abuses. I think it is an area whose bounties must be carefully tread and there are no easy answers.
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tempestuous9
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎11-03-2009
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Re: Arresting the Police

I was pleasantly surprised about the conclusion of the story.  Although the story did not go on to tell the sentences of certain officials, I was glad to see that they were going to be prosecuted for their roles in certain incidents.  I do not think all the police were the villians, but certain individuals who were more concerned with saving face than allowing for their images to be tarnished whatsoever were the problem... including the commissioner and the ministry of justice.  

 

I think that the police should have been talking and sharing information so that crimes were not overlooked or unable to be prosecuted because of lack of evidence when really the investigators were being fed misinformation.  I 100% believe that the group including the Ministry of Justice overstepped the line by "burning" Hoffman.

 

It is probably necessary for some criminals to be informant to bring in information, but I don't think that it's necessary in all cases for police to lie to one another.  I do see a value in keeping much of what goes on out of the media though.  I do not believe that the police are above the law and should be allowed to take part in serious criminal activity.  However, serious is arbitrary and would need to be defined.

 

I don't think that a large difference exists between the American and European attitudes.

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camibones
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎12-11-2009

Re: Arresting the Police

 

I was satisfied with the conclusion. It was great to read about the officials being arrested, because quite honestly, I didn't expect that. I guess Sweden works a little different from the US - I can't see something like this actually managing to stick.
I really think the only place that the line was crossed was when it was decided that Piet would be burned and left to die. I don't see any problem with using informers and plants in order to get valuable information that can stop larger crimes. I don't have a problem with trading the death of one infiltrator for stopping the infiltration of a syndicate into the prison system. I would say that the authors of the book think otherwise. Certainly, Grens finds the whole idea abhorrent. Although I did find it interesting that Grens was willing to let Piet go even though he realized at the end that he had managed to escape. I guess all the pain and suffering he had undergone was payment enough for his sins.