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MomOf2Turds
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 


literature wrote:

 

Roslund and Helstrom have very neatly written in these observations by Hugo and I think they will somehow reveal themselves later on.  I can't figure out the red plastic fire engine, though, and how it will come into play.  Unless it's going to be used to hide something in it.


I believe that the red plastic fire engine is not going to be used to hide something in it.  I don't think it is going to come into play at all.  I think it is more of a symbol of Piet's family life.  It was all nice and pretty and in pristine condition before he ran over it and broke it.  Which mirrors his home life.  It was a wonderful life, the perfect life, until he told his wife what he was really doing, how he had been lying to her, and broke it.  He hopes that he will be able to fix it so that it still works and isn't noticeably marred by the tires on his car.  What I see there is he is hoping that once he achieves his goal of helping the police bring down the Polish Mafia, he can go back home to his family and everything will be as it was before without the cracks and such from his lies.  He hopes to rebuild everything in his life with his family.

 

“A home without books is a body without soul.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
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chris227
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Re: The "real" Piet

I am still havine a hard time getting a good read on Piet.  I want to say that the man the police arrested was not the real Piet but I am not so sure.  This section showed how methodical he could be and perhaps gave a glimpse at "the real" Piet.  I am thinking that Piet really is a true criminal and though he was able to reform himself for his wife and then children he still deceived them and continued with criminal activity thought under the guise of being an informant.  I am beginning to think that the "good" Piet is just a facade and that there is more evil lurking within him than good.

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thewanderingjew
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Re: The "real" Piet

The think I found interesting, in the book, was the fact that in different countries, the infiltrators are given different names, but in Sweden, males are given female names and females are given male names.

The criminals and the police must both know that females are males and males are females. So if everyone knows this, why bother? It no longer serves to protect the infiltrator as well!

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chris227
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two


skibaer wrote:

What happened between Piet and Zofia was not a t all what I expected. I agree with the other posters. She hasn't been developed at all. She has gone from what I thought was a very important character to almost an afterthought. I wonder if that will change.


I still think that Zofia will turn into an important character.  Zofia's reaction is pretty much what I expected.  How else could a woman react to finding out that her entire life is built on lies?  She was probably in total shock and having such a mix of emotions, anger, fear, sadness, etc that she could not express herself.

 

As another poster had mentioned we know nothing about Zofia's work...maybe there is another side...perhaps she is somehow more involved in all of this conspiracy than we now know.  Maybe she actually knows more about Piet's other life than mentioned and could not tell him for fear that it would put him in further danger?

 

I can't wait to read on and find out what is going to happen next?

 

 

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chris227
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two


MomOf2Turds wrote:

 


literature wrote:

 

Roslund and Helstrom have very neatly written in these observations by Hugo and I think they will somehow reveal themselves later on.  I can't figure out the red plastic fire engine, though, and how it will come into play.  Unless it's going to be used to hide something in it.


I believe that the red plastic fire engine is not going to be used to hide something in it.  I don't think it is going to come into play at all.  I think it is more of a symbol of Piet's family life.  It was all nice and pretty and in pristine condition before he ran over it and broke it.  Which mirrors his home life.  It was a wonderful life, the perfect life, until he told his wife what he was really doing, how he had been lying to her, and broke it.  He hopes that he will be able to fix it so that it still works and isn't noticeably marred by the tires on his car.  What I see there is he is hoping that once he achieves his goal of helping the police bring down the Polish Mafia, he can go back home to his family and everything will be as it was before without the cracks and such from his lies.  He hopes to rebuild everything in his life with his family.

 


I'd have to agree with Momof2 that the fire truck is symbolic of Piet's home life.  First I must admit that I only remembered the fire truck mentioned the one time when he hits it (again why I love this club bringing up all of these things I miss!).  i think that the fire truck means that until that point Piet believed that he could live both lives and his family would not be affected but at that point he realized that his family life may be completely destroyed but he hoped that it could be salvaged much as the fire truck is safe and then eventually gets hit and he hopes that it can be salvaged.    

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avalonpriestess
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

skibaer wrote:

What happened between Piet and Zofia was not a t all what I expected. I agree with the other posters. She hasn't been developed at all. She has gone from what I thought was a very important character to almost an afterthought. I wonder if that will change.

_______________

 

I agree. I expected more to happen with Zofia.  I think she will play a major role in the rest of the book.

 

Donna

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avalonpriestess
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

Rachel wrote:

 

Can you discern any of the intention of Piet's careful planning in these chapters?

__________________________

 

I agree with the others who have said Piet's planning is insurance.  I have to admit, I'm having a hard time following this book.  I'm not certain if it's the book itself or just the rush of the time of year.  I'm have a very difficult time just finding time to sit and read.  I read through part 2 very quickly, I think I missed a lot.  I would like to reread this book when the holidays are over.

 

Donna

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

I felt that the fire engine was a symbol of his distraction. He was losing his ability to identify as husband and father and was becoming more of a criminal persona in anticipation of going to prison. He wasn't thinking about his home or his children when he was in the driveway. He was preoccupied with thinking of what awaited him in a few short hours. When he realized what he had done, he tried to restore it to protect his son from finding it broken. He still loved his family. He was just moving away from them mentally and emotionally. Does anyone else agree?


chris227 wrote:

MomOf2Turds wrote:

 


literature wrote:

 

Roslund and Helstrom have very neatly written in these observations by Hugo and I think they will somehow reveal themselves later on.  I can't figure out the red plastic fire engine, though, and how it will come into play.  Unless it's going to be used to hide something in it.


I believe that the red plastic fire engine is not going to be used to hide something in it.  I don't think it is going to come into play at all.  I think it is more of a symbol of Piet's family life.  It was all nice and pretty and in pristine condition before he ran over it and broke it.  Which mirrors his home life.  It was a wonderful life, the perfect life, until he told his wife what he was really doing, how he had been lying to her, and broke it.  He hopes that he will be able to fix it so that it still works and isn't noticeably marred by the tires on his car.  What I see there is he is hoping that once he achieves his goal of helping the police bring down the Polish Mafia, he can go back home to his family and everything will be as it was before without the cracks and such from his lies.  He hopes to rebuild everything in his life with his family.

 


I'd have to agree with Momof2 that the fire truck is symbolic of Piet's home life.  First I must admit that I only remembered the fire truck mentioned the one time when he hits it (again why I love this club bringing up all of these things I miss!).  i think that the fire truck means that until that point Piet believed that he could live both lives and his family would not be affected but at that point he realized that his family life may be completely destroyed but he hoped that it could be salvaged much as the fire truck is safe and then eventually gets hit and he hopes that it can be salvaged.    


 

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literature
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

                                                                                        

Wilson broke a cardinal rule where Paula was concerned, he cared about him.  He knew it was wrong to see these infiltrators as anything other than an inanimate object,  to use them as long as they were productive or abondon them when it became risky.  How or why Wilson though of Paula as a friend at this point we do not know.  All we know is that he worked with him for the past nine years and considered him to be a unique, excellent and trustworthy infiltrator.  Wilson raised his voice to Paula, "Piet look at me when I'm talking...Look at me! The moment you've completed our missioin, you'll be on Wojtek's hit list.  Are you sure you understand what that means, really means?"  Wilson is again giving him an out and at a time when the police needed him the most..

 

Piet questioned his own motives at this point.  This all started when Zofia and the boys were not part of his life and he existed only for himself and it seems "so bloody simple".  His only rationale was that it was his ticket out of prison, he'd work for the police and they would turn a blind eye to his own criminal record and he wouldn't be bothered by the criminal operations and/or public prosecutor.  But he lived for tthe thrill of it all, for the adrenaline rush that he loved.  He did this for the pride of knowing that he was better at this than anyone else, because he had never been good at anything, nor never finished anything, and he was going to do it.  Erik needed to hear him say that "Yes, we have talked openly about this" and went on to make sure he understood that if things got risky, to be asked to be put into isolation.

 

 

 

 


 

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literature
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two


MomOf2Turds wrote:

 


literature wrote:

 

Roslund and Helstrom have very neatly written in these observations by Hugo and I think they will somehow reveal themselves later on.  I can't figure out the red plastic fire engine, though, and how it will come into play.  Unless it's going to be used to hide something in it.


I believe that the red plastic fire engine is not going to be used to hide something in it.  I don't think it is going to come into play at all.  I think it is more of a symbol of Piet's family life.  It was all nice and pretty and in pristine condition before he ran over it and broke it.  Which mirrors his home life.  It was a wonderful life, the perfect life, until he told his wife what he was really doing, how he had been lying to her, and broke it.  He hopes that he will be able to fix it so that it still works and isn't noticeably marred by the tires on his car.  What I see there is he is hoping that once he achieves his goal of helping the police bring down the Polish Mafia, he can go back home to his family and everything will be as it was before without the cracks and such from his lies.  He hopes to rebuild everything in his life with his family.

 


Good point! 

I feel like I've become a sleuth in training whereby everything is just a prop waiting to be used.

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Peppermill
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Re: The "real" Piet

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

The think I found interesting, in the book, was the fact that in different countries, the infiltrators are given different names, but in Sweden, males are given female names and females are given male names.

The criminals and the police must both know that females are males and males are females. So if everyone knows this, why bother? It no longer serves to protect the infiltrator as well!


 

For me, the confusion causable by the male/female identities was well demonstrated by the authors in their writing of the book. How many of us stumbled over the identities -- at first, we didn't know or didn't think that way, but to some extent, even after we "knew." The simple assumptions we make to carry on daily life; that our eye/brain has evolved through the eons to detect and react to differences, to changes, and the effort required to side-step those quickest processes.

 

Oft times throughout I have marveled at both how easy and how difficult deception could be.  Parts I still don't believe -- like not X-raying books entering the system, let alone just flipping the pages, by either the incoming guard or the sending librarian.  Then, too, these were unusual books pulled from storage.  Why didn't a librarian notice when they were recalled so soon?  Could Piet have trusted that they even had made it back to the stacks?  Or, as someone noted, the jostling in the book drop?  Just felt as if there is a strange disconnect between the careful preparations, all packed into such a short period of time with no slip-up possible (zero defects??) and the vagaries of reality -- such as how quickly (all) tulip blossoms open at what temperatures or whether a book arrives promptly from a library supposedly accustomed to serving the prison.

 

I enjoyed the implications about the nature of Piet's self education/reading when he had been incarcerated previously.  I haven't thought through about whether it jibes with the amount of time he was supposedly held.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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literature
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two


chris227 wrote:

MomOf2Turds wrote:

 


literature wrote:

 

Roslund and Helstrom have very neatly written in these observations by Hugo and I think they will somehow reveal themselves later on.  I can't figure out the red plastic fire engine, though, and how it will come into play.  Unless it's going to be used to hide something in it.


I believe that the red plastic fire engine is not going to be used to hide something in it.  I don't think it is going to come into play at all.  I think it is more of a symbol of Piet's family life.  It was all nice and pretty and in pristine condition before he ran over it and broke it.  Which mirrors his home life.  It was a wonderful life, the perfect life, until he told his wife what he was really doing, how he had been lying to her, and broke it.  He hopes that he will be able to fix it so that it still works and isn't noticeably marred by the tires on his car.  What I see there is he is hoping that once he achieves his goal of helping the police bring down the Polish Mafia, he can go back home to his family and everything will be as it was before without the cracks and such from his lies.  He hopes to rebuild everything in his life with his family.

 


I'd have to agree with Momof2 that the fire truck is symbolic of Piet's home life.  First I must admit that I only remembered the fire truck mentioned the one time when he hits it (again why I love this club bringing up all of these things I miss!).  i think that the fire truck means that until that point Piet believed that he could live both lives and his family would not be affected but at that point he realized that his family life may be completely destroyed but he hoped that it could be salvaged much as the fire truck is safe and then eventually gets hit and he hopes that it can be salvaged.    


I just responded to mo2t that she brought up a good point as you did as well, it's symbolic.  I'll go with that, for now anyway.

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thewanderingjew
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Re: The "real" Piet

 

Thanks for responding, it gave me an opportunity to correct my spelling error from think to thing, lol!
Beyond that, aren't you surprised that they allow books in the library that teach such skills to prisoners? Don't they have controls on the computers as parents do? It seems absurd that any book can be passed on without a detailed inspection. When I sent a gift to a friend, who was unfortunately incarcerated, unfairly, due to politics, I was given strict instructions on the type of book allowed. Is that only a consideration in the US?

Peppermill wrote:

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

The thing I found interesting, in the book, was the fact that in different countries, the infiltrators are given different names, but in Sweden, males are given female names and females are given male names.

The criminals and the police must both know that females are males and males are females. So if everyone knows this, why bother? It no longer serves to protect the infiltrator as well!


 

For me, the confusion causable by the male/female identities was well demonstrated by the authors in their writing of the book. How many of us stumbled over the identities -- at first, we didn't know or didn't think that way, but to some extent, even after we "knew." The simple assumptions we make to carry on daily life; that our eye/brain has evolved through the eons to detect and react to differences, to changes, and the effort required to side-step those quickest processes.

 

Oft times throughout I have marveled at both how easy and how difficult deception could be.  Parts I still don't believe -- like not X-raying books entering the system, let alone just flipping the pages, by either the incoming guard or the sending librarian.  Then, too, these were unusual books pulled from storage.  Why didn't a librarian notice when they were recalled so soon?  Could Piet have trusted that they even had made it back to the stacks?  Or, as someone noted, the jostling in the book drop?  Just felt as if there is a strange disconnect between the careful preparations, all packed into such a short period of time with no slip-up possible (zero defects??) and the vagaries of reality -- such as how quickly (all) tulip blossoms open at what temperatures or whether a book arrives promptly from a library supposedly accustomed to serving the prison.

 

I enjoyed the implications about the nature of Piet's self education/reading when he had been incarcerated previously.  I haven't thought through about whether it jibes with the amount of time he was supposedly held.


 

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Peppermill
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Re: The "real" Piet

 


thewanderingjew wrote (excerpt, bold added):

 

Beyond that, aren't you surprised that they allow books in the library that teach such skills to prisoners? Don't they have controls on the computers as parents do? It seems absurd that any book can be passed on without a detailed inspection. When I sent a gift to a friend, who was unfortunately incarcerated, unfairly, due to politics, I was given strict instructions on the type of book allowed. Is that only a consideration in the US?

Don't know.  Would be surprised if only U.S.  Also, suspect U.S. prisons are not consistent.  I also have no idea of the volumes (amount) that would need to be controlled/inspected and how that impacts what is implemented versus what is policy.

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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DSaff
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Re: The "real" Piet

I totally agree with you about Piet. He is so much better as a criminal than as a husband and father, but there is a caveat here as well. I think he longs to be the "good" man rather than the bad one and may be taking steps to get out. This section seems to show the "push me pull you" part of his life really well. He has told his wife the truth, but still endangers the family he says he loves. I can't wait to read more to find out if he actually transforms himself into the good guy and moves away with his family.

 


chris227 wrote:

I am still havine a hard time getting a good read on Piet.  I want to say that the man the police arrested was not the real Piet but I am not so sure.  This section showed how methodical he could be and perhaps gave a glimpse at "the real" Piet.  I am thinking that Piet really is a true criminal and though he was able to reform himself for his wife and then children he still deceived them and continued with criminal activity thought under the guise of being an informant.  I am beginning to think that the "good" Piet is just a facade and that there is more evil lurking within him than good.


 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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nbmars
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Re: The "real" Piet

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

The think I found interesting, in the book, was the fact that in different countries, the infiltrators are given different names, but in Sweden, males are given female names and females are given male names.

The criminals and the police must both know that females are males and males are females. So if everyone knows this, why bother? It no longer serves to protect the infiltrator as well!


I totally agree with "what was the point," except to play games with the reader?

 

CAG
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CAG
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

[ Edited ]

I agree about the red fire engine seems to be a symbol of Piet's family life. He broke it and now he wants to try and fix it. I am not so sure he can.

 

 

There is one thing that really bothered me about Piet in this section and perhaps I am overreacting but doesn't it say something about Piet and his love and concern for his children when he takes them to his office while he is hiding amphetamines in books. Why would he expose them to that? He already takes a risk with his family just by what he does and I just couldn't understand why he would take his children there and expose them further. Seems to me he may be much more of a criminal in his behavior than loving, caring father.

CAG
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Annalisa13
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

I'm starting to wonder who the "real" Piet Hoffman really is!  Is his background as Paula completely made up or is he more like that side?  He seems to have an incredible knowledge of how to get this job done...  I wonder if that is the real piet and the one who has a family and loves and has something to live for happened all of a sudden. 

they've written a few times about him calculated the distance from the church balcony to the certain work room in the prison and i wonder what purpose that will serve!

 

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PiperMurphy
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

Piet is a character that is still evolving. I sympathized with him in Part I as a family man. I want him to succeed. But his transformation into a criminal at the end of Part II was brilliant. How much of his transformation was acting, and how much was another side of his own character? How could he convincingly play his part if he wasn't drawing from himself. I'm fascinated by the way that Piet is developing. I don't think that we've seen how good or how bad he can be. Right now, I think it is all layers of the same person.

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maxcat
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

We find in this second part that Piet will certainly go to prison to infiltrate the drug trafficking there and try to put Wojtek out of business. In this part, I find Piet somewhat calm but at the same time there is an intensity about the situation he is about to enter. He is methodical in getting things organized for his prison stay and replacing his normal character with one that knows the ins and outs of prison life. He has been in prison before, a number of years ago, but this time, it is different as he will be dealing with some pretty rough characters and he cannot afford to make a mistake or he is dead. At the beginning of this second part, Piet has 38 hours to get his life organized and get ready for prison and dealing drugs. He takes on a persona as someone who has totally committed himself to this plan. I thought the most methodical and well-scripted parts here was when Piet went to Aspas Library. It's a library where prisoners from the Aspas prison can request books to read. What he did to six particular books that are kept in storage as they are old is just very mechanical as if he did it before.

He orders 3 bunches of tulips, 2 yellow and one red. The two yellow bunches are labelled from Aspas Business Association. One has "blossom" in it and labelled for the prison. The red tulips are for Zofia. We learn that she suspects something and just totally ignores him at first when he comes home. Later, he tells her everything, about Erik Wilson, why he is going to prison, everything. Then he leavesthe house after kissing the boys and Zofia. Erik does give him the chance to back out even with little time that is left before the police find him. But Piet wants to stick this one out even though Erik warned him that once he is in prison, there will be no help from him unless he gets into a situation and asks for solitary confinement.

When Piet is arrested, he is a totally different character as he has been labeled armed and dangerous. He has to put up a facade that he is a hardened criminal so as to throw off the police and the characters already at the prison.

Zofia comes across as very upset with Piet at first as the kids are sick and when he comes home one night, she is cuddling one of the kids but does not respond to his calls. She lays in her son's bed with her back to him. When Piet comes back to tell her that it was his last night of freedom, she withdraws into a ball. But he makes her listen to the entire story of what is about to happen and tells her there is a safe deposit box with money in it to supply a decent life for her and the boys. He gives her the key to that box. Once out of prison, he will obtain a new identity and can never come back to his old life. She is just a mannequinn, no sound, no movement, nothing. No screaming. It is a very unusual reaction but we still don't know much of Zofia. Does she normally keep things bottled up inside?

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost