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Inspired Contributor
MomOf2Turds
Posts: 46
Registered: ‎03-13-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

Computers and thrillers
 
It can be difficult to get a sense of suspense when detectives are are often trying to boot up and break code on a laptop rather than break down doors--and Grens does both in our last chapters! What role does "information" stored in electronic databases play in our story?
If the information hadn't have been saved on the computer, then Grens never would have found it and they never would have been able to prove anything, about this case or numerous others.
How do the authors create suspense around these scenes?
They did a great job by continuously building up the questions, without answers, and then hitting us with all the answers all about the same time.  Wonderful job!
How heavily do we rely upon it? How does the quest for "real" information play out in the novel?
We, as a general whole, rely on electronics way too much, in my opinion.  However, because of that reliance, everything was eventually brought to light about how corrupt some of the cops and other in the judicial system were.  Grens and Agestam were able to print out hard copies of everything to keep for proof.
In what ways does this reflect how we trust our sources of information in our daily lives? (All of us are certainly familiar with eagerly booting up!)
It shows us just how reliant we are on computers and electronics and technology.  Like I said before, all too much in my opinion.  Whatever happened to using pen and paper?
 
Grens' guilt
 
What has been consuming Grens all this time? How has his involvement with Piet Hoffmann's case been tied to his own past?
Grens' time has been consumed by the guilt that he felt for his role in the accident that caused him to lose his wife, both before and after her death.  This case has made him come to terms with the fact that he really wasn't responsible for it.
 
Piet Hoffmann 
 
When did you know Hoffmann was alive?
I had hopes that he made it.  His plans seemed just a little too elaborate for me to believe that he didn't make it out alive, but I was convinced that he had been killed.  I knew for sure that he was still alive when it started talking about him being cramped and such in the tube.
How do you picture Piet and Zofia's future? 
I like to think that because she did what he asked her to do, that they meet up and they begin their life anew, working to repair the damage that Piet has done with all of the lying he has done over the years, and they live on a beach somewhere with the boys happily ever after.
“A home without books is a body without soul.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
Contributor
MBSpencer
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

Out of five stars, I would give this book three and a half.

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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Thank you!

I didn't know where else to post this, but definitely want to thank everyone involved in making this discussion another FL success! Paul and Rachel, thank you for the book selection and excellent questions nad moderation. Rachel, you always post great questions! To our authors, Anders and Borge, thank you for giving us the opportunity to not only read your book, but also to discuss it. Thank you for the time you have spent reading and answering. It is appreciated. To my fellow First Looker's, thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking discussion! I hope to see you all in future FL selections. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!  :smileywink:

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

I hope your holidays are wonderful as well, Deb!

Here is the link to my review.

 

http://my.barnesandnoble.com/communityportal/Review.aspx?page=Review&reviewid=1500289

 


dhaupt wrote:

I just also wanted to wish all my fellow first lookers a Happy Holiday, stay safe, happy and warm.

 

Until we get a thread to do so here's my review of Three Seconds

http://my.barnesandnoble.com/reviews-ratings-dhaupt/id/1500146/


 

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

Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

[ Edited ]

Grens has remained the same throughout the novel; he always thought right from the beginning that something was wrong with the murder at the apartment building on Vastmannagatan 79. He kept that feeling throughout the book as he was investigating the murder.When he finds that Piet Hoffman is in Aspas Prison, he tries to see him but is told that Hoffman is in the hospital unit with an infection. Grens never bought this and even during the hostage situation, he never relented on knowing why Hoffman was holding hostages. As gold commander, he was the one to issue the order to kill Piet and thought that the sniper did kill him. For that, he felt guilt as he did with his wife's death. Unbelievable guilt that would never go away. But as he returned to the police station, there were packages there for him. One had the tape of the meeting that Piet had with the prison officials, police commisioner and Erik Wilson. Things started to gel from there for Ewert and he found many cases on the computer where the DA had sent people to jail or charges were dismissed. He took a step further and found the actual files and found that they were quite different than what was on the computer. He visits Lars Agastam, the DA, and shows him what is going on and Agastam realizes that the three officials at Piet's meeting were at the bottom of all this and they were the ones who wanted him burned or killed. Ewert also gets ahold of a security tape from the workshop and finds that Piet lived. And Ewert realizes that he was not guilty for his death. And Piet did live and walked out of that prison after changing into a prison guard's outfit.

In the meantime, Svendkvist goes to Jacksonville, Fla. to meet with Erik Wilson. Wilson becomes a different character here as he appears not to care if Piet is dead or alive. He appears very cold and robotic when Svendvkist runs the tape of the meeting with Piet and the police and prison officials. He leaves quickly leaving Svendvkist at the table. But much later on, he checks through his phones and finds that one has a msg on it about Wojtek being destroyed and the mission was accomplished.

At this point, it would have been nice to wrap up ends between Piet and his wife. Do they find each other? Do they continue their lives but under another name?

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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MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Thank you!

Let me echo, DSaff's sentiments.  This has been another great discussion.  Thanks to all at First Look for first of all choosing this book and to the authors for allowing us to read and discuss such a intense novel. 

  It has been a pleasure reading and discussing this story. 

 

  Merry Christmas to all.  Hope to see each and everyone of you in the next discussion.

 

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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MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Review

Here is the link to my review as well.

 

http://my.barnesandnoble.com/communityportal/review.aspx?reviewid=1500445

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/
Contributor
Myrtlemay
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-05-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

Hello!

 

I have tried to read this book. Maybe my reading level is not high enough. I am embarrassed to say that I am just confused when I try to read it.  I thought this book would be something I would really enjoy!  But sadly it is not. It takes the fun out when I need to write notes about characters. I am very sorry that I can't contribute more to this discussion.

 

Thanks!

 

Confused reader

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Cacciatrice09
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-05-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

I too loved the end of this novel, the beginning wasn't bad, but the end was awesome!  Grens needed this case in order to snap him out of his guilt, where in turn he discovered the truth.  The technology emphasis seems to tie it all up nicely because as an earlier post stated, it always leaves a trail.

Hoffman had to survive for Zofia and the kids and for his character itself because of how he was written into the novel.  How he survived was another question. :smileywink:  I also agree with the fact that faking his own death was probably one of the few ways for him to get out of the mafia.  As for how he and Zofia's future will work out, I believe that it will take time for them to build the trust again but I think it is possible.

 

I can't wait for the next book!

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Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

When did you know Hoffmann was alive?
I was pretty sure that he was going to survive throughout the novel.  He seemed to have planned for every eventuality and appeared to be a very intelligent man.  I knew for sure he was going to survive when he was in the office with the prison guard making sure the guard would survive. I knew he was going to be alive when he was counting the seconds. 
How do you picture Piet and Zofia's future?
When Piet told Zofia the whole truth the night before he went to prison, I think he was convincing enough to ensure she knew what to do and where to go so that she was waiting for him in a safe place.   Because he had money and intelligence, I'm sure they ended up in a different country and were able to start life fresh.
This book was fabulous and I really enjoyed the reading, the questions, and the discussion.  I'm sorry it's so close to the holidays, because I think we lost a lot of discussers early. 
Thank you once again, Rachel for leading the discussion and your excellent questions.  Thank you Paul for finding such great books and good luck in your future endeavors.  I'll see you on Facebook. 
Thank you to our authors for sharing your work with us.  I cannot wait to read the rest of your books, although I'll be reading a few light books and doing some knitting before I start Pen 21, which I'm sure will be just as intense as Three Seconds.   
And to everyone, happy holidays everyone, be safe and have fun.   And best wishes for good health, prosperity, and happiness in 2011. 
Contributor
thecatsmeowAM
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎08-03-2010

Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

Computers and thrillers
 
It can be difficult to get a sense of suspense when detectives are are often trying to boot up and break code on a laptop rather than break down doors--and Grens does both in our last chapters! What role does "information" stored in electronic databases play in our story?
--I think it made the story interesting to have both aspects of crime investigation, both the computer source, plus the stake out, snipers etc.  But is also showed that information can be changed or skewed when we rely only on computer information.
 
Grens' guilt
 
What has been consuming Grens all this time? How has his involvement with Piet Hoffmann's case been tied to his own past?
--I think he realizes that his wife's death wasn't really his fault and sometimes circumstances play a big role in the outcome of events.  This was similar to the fact that although he "killed" Piet, he did what he could with the information he had.  And therefore, Piet's "death" wasn't really his fault either.  He understood that sometimes you have to let the guilt go in order to move on in your life.
Piet Hoffmann 
 
When did you know Hoffmann was alive?
--I had NO idea until we are with him in the pipe.  I was shocked!  I started off really disliking Piet, but then mourned his death in a way and was sad about what had happened to him.  The authors did a good job of making him more human with the way he interacted with the older man guard hostage.  I started to like Piet and was sad when he died.  So to find out he had survived was a shock to me!  And I was happy.
How do you picture Piet and Zofia's future? 
--I picture them to be finally free of Piet's past.  I hope that she is able to forgive him and they can move on to a happier life with their children.
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thecatsmeowAM
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎08-03-2010
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Re: Review

[ Edited ]

Here is the link to my review.  I really loved this FL pick and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  I just ordered (and received) Box 21 by the same authors and hope they write more soon.

 

http://my.barnesandnoble.com/communityportal/review.aspx?reviewid=1500914

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tjewell
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎09-05-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

Wanted to echo some of the other contributors comments.  I thoroughly  enjoyed this book.  It held my interest thoughout.  I found it to be intense, suspenseful, and entertaining as well.  This was my first "First Look" book.  I look forward to readingt other first look selections.  I also want to thank the authors for the opportunity to read "Three Seconds".

 

Merry Christmas to everyone.  Enjoy your time spent with your loved one. 

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Mysterylover1138
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎03-01-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

I thought this book was fantastic.  The characters were developed superbly and honestly I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.  The ending was great and honestly I was hoping that in the end Piet/Paula was going to survive and make his way out of a tight spot.  

 

I thought it was so good I had to pass it on to one of my coworkers who happened to steal it away from me one night at work and read the back description.  She was hooked just from the back :smileyhappy:

 

Honestly this has been one of the better books that I have read through the First Look Club, and it was by far a great and entertaining read.

 

 

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cmmn
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎07-02-2009
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

Wow!  Thank you for the opportunity to read Three Seconds.  I hope Piet and Zofia can work things out and have a happy life. 

 

Inspired Contributor
ilenekm
Posts: 71
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

Great book.  I really enjoyed this First Look book and look for the opportunity to read other First Look books in the future.  

 

I was happily shocked to find out that Piet was still alive and managed to get away before the explosion, although, I must say that I found him so resourceful throughout the book that I would have been disappointed if he had died.  I believe that he truly loves Zofia and the boys and hope that he has a chance to reconcile with them and have a "normal" new life

Contributor
DawnGR
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

I absolutely enjoyed the last few chapters of the book.. I think in back of my mind I thought that Hoffman could be alive. that his role in this story just could not disappear like it did. There had to be more.Yet, in a way I was. With Gren's guilt and with many things in life. Wrongs come full circle and are made right. He had an inner sense that something was not right, that was said time and time again throughout the story.  I am not sure about Piet and Zofia. Piet's intentions to make things right were good, but sometimes it is just to much.. Their life would not be the same . Sometimes love is not enough to out weigh risks, changes, etc..A wonderful book.

“The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.”
Elizabeth Hardwick

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elaine_hf
Posts: 389
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

 


MBSpencer wrote:

Out of five stars, I would give this book three and a half.


Just a little curiosity here - but why 3 1/2 stars??

 

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
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lisapt
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

Ha! I knew Peit was still alive. No way was he going to let himself die after all that careful planning I'm so happy I was right -- I'm not often when guessing about books. I hope Piet is with his wife and family. Even if he is, I imagine there will be ramifications form what he did to them. Uprooting a family and moving is difficult under the best circumstances. Still, with Peit's phone conversation at the end, I wonder if he is going to get out of the business. I don't think so, which will not help bring peace to his family. I'm glad to see Gren get some peace in the accident involving his wife by dealing with the guilt in ordering Piet's death. I am a little sad that no one felt the lest remorse for the death of the prisoner. He was still a human after all.,
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swan480
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Three Seconds: Last Chapters and Whole Novel

Interestingly, it was in the last 100 or so pages of the novel that I started liking Grens the most.  I liked how he handled the fallout after the final big prison scene, and I thought the determination that emerged in his character -- I know they keep talking about how determined an investigator he is, but this is when it actually becomes evident -- made him a much more appealing character than his guilt.

 

I suspected Piet was still alive, but part of it was just that I couldn't believe the authors would kill him off after all that!  :smileyhappy:  I also felt that all of his preparations had to be for something more than being sure he "went out with a bang" -- the narration kept talking about how much he wanted to stay alive, so I felt sure his grand plan would have ensured that he did.  But I really wasn't positive that I was right until Grens starts putting it together -- the listening device, Piet's military background, etc.

 

By the way, one other observation I had was that I didn't see why Grens was so shocked that the police were using informants and protecting them from investigations when there were "bigger fish to fry," so to speak.  I guess he'd never seen any American police dramas.  :smileyhappy:  But the result was that I had never considered that an immoral practice.  Interesting that it is so controversial to Sweden, or at least to the authors and their intended audience!