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redfraggle_98
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I have to think about my answers for this before I post.  I read ahead already, and I don't want to spoil the book for anyone.  This book is so good!:smileyhappy:

Contributor
torbank6
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎02-01-2010

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

The first section has me confused to the good and bad guys, although I know some are really bad guys but Piet I am not sure about yet...is he good or bad.

Piet and Erik along with Grens appear to be the main characters.....They all have the same work ethics and determination but just in a little different way. I am still not sure if Piet will turn out to be one of the bad guys.

Gren's background and work as a police man is full of determination as well as a denial about some aspects of his life and work.....he misses the music and Anni so hides the boxes to try and forget but it doesn't really work...he keeps going to the nursing home and tries to hear her voice.  He is determined to fine the murderer as well as the identity of the victim and it seems like Erik knows that Gren is a very determined man and is fearful of him finding out too much.

Erik Wilson is a good alley to Piet but I wonder if he will stick by him no matter what (" Always on your own").

My favorite supporting character so far is Zofia....she seems to never question Piet and where he has been and yet she does question him in her own mind but not openly...she must suspect that he is not totally honest with her. She seems to be the only person he can truly count on.

I think the book opens with the mule to set the background of the book and make us aware of who and how the drugs are transported.

Torbank6

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CAG
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎01-15-2007
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

The novel doesn't really challenge my expectation of good guys and bad guys. I just see it as a very narrow line and I am not sure how tangled that concept will get as the story continues.

 

I would describe the major characters as Piet - who is leading two lives. He is troubled by the lies he tells his wife and things seem to be coming apart for him. Yet I think a part of him enjoys the the chaos and the game he is playing.

 

Next major character would be Grens who seems to be a solid detective although riddled with grief. He is the kind of cop who always has the case on his mind, working it over and over. I think that is what makes him so good at his job. I see him as very dedicated.

 

Eric Wilson is another major character and I see him as intense and a sort of solo player. He is trying to keep his boss happy but also wants him out of his way and he is trying to manage Piet. I had the thought he could cross the line between good/bad very easily. I may change my mind later but that is my impression at this stage.

 

Zofia is probably my favorite supporting character because I feel like she is hiding something. I will enjoy seeing how her character plays out. I just think there is more to her than the unassuming wife and mother. I can't imagine that she really doesn't have any idea about Piet's other life.

CAG
Contributor
ncwise
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I started off judging the characters in the first few pages - that changed very quickly.  All is not as it seems.  The characters in this book are very complex - just like in "real life".

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ncwise
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I agree with what you are saying about Zophia - I am very interested to see how things play out with her.

Reader 4
fczumbaum
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-03-2010

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I also started to judge the characters, and am thinking I am not far enough into it to make any sort of judgement.  I find every character very complex thus far, and am trying to have enough time to actually sit down and absorb them.

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clodia2
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

Zofia is my favorite too, on a couple levels.  Given how much more meets to eye with all the other characters, I'm curious if she isn't all she appears to be also.  And, she is so important to her husband, where he feels "remorse" at some level when he doesn't do what he thinks he should by her.  But (sorry guys, I can't remember page numbers) they were talking about how everyone breaks their own rules.  It was when he had the kids in the car.  They were saying how people who say they'll hit anyone but women, but they eventually hit women, etc.  When he lied to her about the kids, etc, I think that could be a start of a slippery slope. 

Contributor
tjewell
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎09-05-2010

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

This is my first "first look" book.  I am enjoying reading Three Seconds.  I must say that I was somewhat confused at the beginning of the book - but things are getting much clearer the more I read.  It did take me a little time to figure out the whole mule thing.  But must say that it is a very interesting concept.  I knew that this concept existed but did not realize to what extent.

 

I must say that so far one of my favorites is piet/paula.  I sympathize with him as he is trying to to be true to the commitment that he made to himself about keeping his family separate from his secret life and how this becomes increasing difficult for him.  He is questioning himself and having trouble distinguishing right from wrong.

 

I also appreciate zofia's role as his wife.  She sounds like a remarkable lady who loves her husband and children.  She trusts Piet so much and appears not to doubt or mistrust him in anyway.  He shows the same devotion to her. 

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carolyncbuckley
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I agree with a lot of what's said in this post. I try not to judge until I'm more familiar with the characters. I think Erik intrigues me the most right now.

 

There's good and bad in everyone, it's interesting to see how things will play out.

Frequent Contributor
Lildove3
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

Wow..this is a very twisty novel right from the start. I am not judging any of the characters

due to the fact some are decieving until you read further. This novel had me really confussed

at first,so reading this story makes one to have to think. Most of the characters definately and clearly are set apart from one another,which makes the reading intriguing. Not use to reading a

novel with some many twists and turns, it surely keeps you on your toes.

Contributor
mystery-woman
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎04-02-2010

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

Erik Wilson is a bit of a man of mystery.  We know nothing of his family. Does he have a wife or kids? Did he have a wife and kids in the past?  What about parents, aunts, uncles?  He seems to be a cool character and handles the pressures of his job quite well. Is he Swedish or an American? As far as an explanation for his time in America, we are not told so far.  Is he a double agent? Or does Sweden just send run of the mill officers to train at FBI training bases?  I believe there is more to be learned as we read on into the book about Erik Wilson.

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tberra
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎08-30-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I,m  not  ready to judge  anyone  good /bad yet  I am  still  sorting them out  . I  feel the POV changes from one to the next  too quickly I start getting involved  to have it change to the next person and I need to switch mental gears to figure out who is  where. I am enjoying it I just feel I need  to go back and reread some . Erik was in the Us at a training facility  .

Grens  use to be a "good" cop before  "she " died (his wife?)

he is depressed  However this  murder  seems to have jarred something to reawaken the cop in him . Boxing up his  cassettes I feel is  his  way of  moving on  trying to move forward in his life .

Why open with a Mule ? To see the depraved  side of human nature  to know that  what they are doing is wrong  and dangerous  to swear  to themselves they will never do it again  only to be so  desperate  for some thing  a fix/  pay bills/ any number of  addictions  that  2 days later he/she will forgo the danger and do it again to get their  fix in.    

Reader 2
LisaLuLO
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

Love the book so far.... Was a little confused in the beginning but then caught on quickly.  The characters are compelling and the plot is very good so far - can't wait to get further into the book......

Wordsmith
BookWoman718
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎01-28-2007

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I read one of the authors' earlier books.  The woman whom Grens is grieving was indeed his wife.  She was a policewoman who was killed in the line of duty and he has always felt  intense guilt that he was unable to protect her.

 

I think Grens is very focused on the immediate task, that is, to solve a murder.  This is, for him, a most serious crime and it has always been his duty to go after tough cases.

Erik sees the murder as unfortunate but wants it overlooked so that Piet can move forward in his new, more highly trusted position within the mafia, and eventually bring down the whole organization.  He convinces a very limited number of government  officials of his point of view in that very tense meeting.  Police and prosecutors do it all the time, but there's always some tension in the idea of letting a 'lesser criminal' get off so that the authorities can go after 'bigger fish."   Piet didn't actually pull the trigger (and recall how careful Erik was to assure himself of that)  but he would be an accessory to murder in that he didn't report it and helped to cover it up. 

 

I think Piet is and has been well aware that his life could be on the line at any minute;  that's a normal job condition for any infiltrator.  It's not that he suddently realized "it could be him;"  he knew that all along.  He was almost undone by the Danish agent's death because he is working with the Swedish police who will know he was at the meeting where the death took place.  If they have Grens' point of view that murder is of prime importance, and turn on him, make it 'his fault' that someone got killed, he could lose everything.   The work he has put in to make himself credible to the mafia would go down the drain, and it would be even less possible for the police to stop their expansion.  He could also be personally prosecuted and incarcerated, separated from his beloved family.  Having a murder happen 'on his watch' jeopardizes everything he has worked for and everything he holds dear.

 


tberra wrote:

I,m  not  ready to judge  anyone  good /bad yet  I am  still  sorting them out  . I  feel the POV changes from one to the next  too quickly I start getting involved  to have it change to the next person and I need to switch mental gears to figure out who is  where. I am enjoying it I just feel I need  to go back and reread some . Erik was in the Us at a training facility  .

Grens  use to be a "good" cop before  "she " died (his wife?)

he is depressed  However this  murder  seems to have jarred something to reawaken the cop in him . Boxing up his  cassettes I feel is  his  way of  moving on  trying to move forward in his life .

Why open with a Mule ? To see the depraved  side of human nature  to know that  what they are doing is wrong  and dangerous  to swear  to themselves they will never do it again  only to be so  desperate  for some thing  a fix/  pay bills/ any number of  addictions  that  2 days later he/she will forgo the danger and do it again to get their  fix in.    


 

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MMHoffman
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I just got back home from Thanksgiving with family out of state and got my book last night.  I started reading the first few days, but found the book a little hard to get into.  I do like the writing style.  Hopefully, I will be able to get into the book a little better now that I am rested.

 

I do like reading everyone's insight and hope to have a better response in the next few days.

Contributor
GabryTK
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-03-2010
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I received my copy yesterday evening (poor UPS guy who trudged through the cold and snow to warm my evening).  I read Part One and so far am enjoying the story.  It is a good plot, rendered vividly, and I can easily see evolve into a movie.

 

There are scenes that, while relevant, do not seem to contribute to the overall weaving of the story.  For example, the description of events at FLETC, the scene of the mule and his emotions on the boat, or the scene of the last mule who only had the 15 pellets.  Perhaps these will become more relevant as the story continues to unfold.

 

I feel that Stieg Larrsen developed his characters more deeply.  To me, it seemed that the first part of “Three Seconds” does good job of laying out the plot’s overall environment, but could work to give more insight into the characters’ motivations and flaws (we are all flawed, aren’t we?  Don’t our flaws make a significant contribution to how we and our actions differ from others?). 

 

The two main police in the story, Ewert Grens and Erik Wilson, clearly have contrasting and views of right and wrong.  Grens seems plodding, somewhat morose, tenacious, right vs wrong is black and white; while Wilson seems to be one that feels he is coloring within the lines but feels that he has the liberty to draw the lines, right vs wrong is spectrum of grays. Piet makes an observation about his fellow former prisoners – an observation of elastic morals that justify their actions to themselves – statements like not stealing from children or hitting a woman.  Wilson seems to fall into that category of policeman. 

 

I think the editing staff still has a bit of work to do.  In some places, the sentence structure or flow between paragraphs is choppy.  I found the insertion of Polish in the midst of the English disconcerting (and found it odd that the Polish word for ‘nine’ and ‘ten’ are the same, or the protagonist is not counting correctly).  I also think the cover is effective – but it might be lost on me since use black and white nook for most of the books I read (I know, how quaint of me).

 

Distinguished Correspondent
chris227
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎12-02-2008
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One


silverwitch wrote:

My favorite character so far is Piets Wife Zofia also.

Yes she is playing the part of the unsuspecting wife, but I have a small feeling that she suspects he's lying to her. How is he going to explain where he's going for the next three months? Business trip? No phone calls from him to his children or to her? Yeah he can lie  about wher he's going but I don't think she'll believe him. Not this time.


I hadn't really thought much about Zofia until now except to feel sorry for her.  As a wife and mother I couldn't imagine my husband taking two sick and feverish children out to meet business clients.  In the conversation Piet has with her when he tells her he will not be back in time for her to go work in the afternoon he was minimalizing her work, and I continued to just feel badly for her.  I have a feeling that Zofia will play a larger role later.  Piet must tell her some reason why he will be gone for 3 months and she must be suspicious.  I think we have caught just a glimpse now but will see more of her later.

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chris227
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎12-02-2008
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Re: Three Seconds: Part One


nbmars wrote:

 



 

 
How would you describe each of our major characters so far?
i found it very confusing in the beginning sorting out who is who and what is what!  It didn't help that so many sections started with "He [did whatever]..." not telling you yet which "he" they were talking about!
 
 

I find this book and its characters very hard to sort out as well (I'm really glad to be discussing it in this group because now I won't worry so much about missing something, because you all bring up wonderful insights and reminders and help me pick up on things I missed!)

 

I am beginning to be able to keep characters straight now (I think).  The "he" that startes off many sections is confusing but I think it shows just how similar and connected all of these characters are.  As many have said this book shows just how blurred the lines between good and bad can be.  All of these characters are on missions, whether to solve a crime, infiltrate the mob, protect themselves...many are hiding parts of themselves, Piet/Paula's double identity, Eric's involvement with Piet, Gren's personal and professional's lives.  Though these men are all working for different things they are all quite similar in some respects and often the "he..." that starts sections could pertain to a number of charcters, at least until we get deeper into the page.

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chris227
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎12-02-2008
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Grens

Grens appears to be a man who becomes completely immersed in his work, especially after losing his wife.  I don;t think he will rest until he solves this murder and I don't think that the blind lead left by Eric will be enough to deter him. 

 

I felt sorry for him as he was turned away from the home by the doctor, though I think someone needed to jolt him out of his grief so that he could return to his own life.  I think his packing away his cassettes is his way of moving on, though he ensures that everything will be safely stored away.  Funny that he chose to put his boxes in evidence storage.

 

I think that there is more to the story of Grens' wife's death and was wondering if it would somehow end up be connected to other events or people already mentioned in this story, however I read another reader's post saying that this was the story of another novel so perhaps I am wrong.

 

I almost feel sorry for Eric when Grens finally figures out what is going on (which I am pretty sure he will do)

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Three Seconds: Part One

I just finished reading the first section this morning so I'm going to post what's most bothering me.

 

We know just by reading the back cover that things don't go well for Hoffmann in prison and he's wanted dead by both the police and the mafia.  Even though Piet was successful in recording the guarantee given him by the Ministry of Justice, you have to wonder with the following dialog:  I guarantee that you won't be charged for anything that happened at Vastmannagatan 79.  I guarantee that we will do our best to help you complete your operation in prison...We will give you a new life, a new identity, and money to start over again abroad.  I guarantee you this in my capacity as a state secretary of the Ministry of Justice."   It's the last sentence that bothers me.  There is so much wheeling and dealing going on to make things work that I'm thinking it's just an idle guarantee in order to stop the infiltration of the Polish mafia.   When Piet was asked to leave the room, was there discussions about her stepping down from the post when Piet is ready to be released from prison so "her" guarantee doesn't have to be honored.  I doubt that her guarantee will be honored by the next Ministry of Justice and the director general of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service cannot honor this guarantee either since she appointed him and he decides only what she and he agrees to decide.  Even though Piet seemed pleased with this guarantee I'm not!

 

Piet is satisfied with what has transpired.  He trusts Erik Wilson explicitly and Wilson is highly regarded by these people.  We don't know much about Wilson at this point other than he is very resourceful, crafty, precise, and brilliantly knows his way within the system.  In order to protect Piet and get him into prison, he went as far as writing up two different reports--the truth for this meeting and just some general facts for the Gren team of investigators.  I think there are a lot more devious things we are going to learn about Wilson in coming chapters that will shock us.

 

Amphetamines...On page 127 Krantz is explaining to Gren about  how he recently analyzed amphetamines with two other investigations and talks about how it is manufactured in an amphetamine factory outside of Warsaw.   Going back to the bottom of page  58 when Grens is with Ludwig Errfors from forensics, "A muffled sound and the feeling that the ground was moving.  Just before midnight, and a truck had driven through the secured area, passing close to the window of the Solna institute of forensic medicine."  "Nothing to worry about.  They unload a short distance away.  No idea what, but it's the same every evening."    The first thing that came to my mind was an amphetamine factory and/or amphetamine warehouse and right under their nose. 

 

 

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