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MomOf2Turds
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 


blackjack77 wrote:

 

As for Zofia, I don't know that anything is clearer, but I felt a connection with her earlier.  Is her behavior typical? I think so.  Does she know more than she lets on?  I don't think so.  I think she is in the dark. Typical and average, doing the best she can as a working Mom married to a husband who travels, etc.  If you don't ask questions, you can't ruin the facade. 

 

Technically the man they arrested is named Piet Hoffman, but he is just acting the part.  I guess the real questions are, Is Piet the real Piet or is Paula?  Which "character" is the real man more like?


 

I agree with you on the fact that she doesn't want to ask the questions.  I think, however, that it is because she doesn't want the same questions asked of her.  But I like your take on it, as well.  Opens it all up in another light for me.

 

And I also like your take on the real Piet.  I would like to think that Piet is the real Piet, although Paula and Piet are a lot alike.  I think they have merged to form a new Piet who happens to be the "real" Piet.  He was once a bad guy, we know this because he has done some prison time, who is trying to reform and be a good guy for the sake of his family.  Paula isn't really a bad guy, just a good guy for the cops playing a bad guy for the mafia.  

 

I'm not sure if that made sense here, but it makes total sense in my head. 

“A home without books is a body without soul.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
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crazylilcuban
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 


literature wrote:

 

I know that Hugo is not a posted thread, but I see something developing here.  Maybe I'm looking too deeply into this, who knows, but we have two authors who write so tightly so why would they so matter of factly write in this dialog from Hugo.

 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, what is the importance of Hugo's red plastic fire engine being in the driveway when Piet arrives home? It was mentioned twice already.  Well, Piet finally hits it when pulling into the driveway but manages to sort of fix it up, hoping that Hugo doesn't notice the pretty obvious repair job. 

Hugo's role seems to be building now and he is quite the observant little person.  On page 157, when Piet is talking to Zofia, Hugo asks "Why are you angry with each other?"  On page 166, after Piet picks up the sick boys from the nursery school and Hugo realizes his father is not driving in the direction towards home, "Where are we going?"  On page 168 when Piet took the sick boys to his office and is diligently hiding the amphetamines in the inside spline of the books, "What are you doing, Daddy"?  On page 169, while Paula is still working on hiding the amphetamines in the books and has the tiny tins out with the amphetamines, "What's that?..."What is that, Daddy"? and then again just after that "There's two letters there, daddy.  What are they to?..But they've got names on....What do they say?...That's mommy's name.  On the white one.  It looks like it.  And the one on the brown one starts with an E.  I can see that too."  Piet answers him with "Ewert.  His name's Ewert."  Whatever possessed him to say the name "Ewert"?  Hugo will remember this name and at some point Hugo is going to let slip the name of "Ewert".   Then on page 171, when Piet takes the boys with him to the LINDSTROM apartment for a meeting with Wilson and introduces Wilson to the boys as "Uncle Erik."  Here again, Hugo is going to remember this name and this is his father's connection to the police.  Paula is so precise and in control with all details, but lets his armour down when with Hugo.

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.


 

How incredibly interesting... I hadn't really realized just how much Hugo is catching on to, but you are definitely correct. I feel like there has to be something that will happen with him...

 

I love that we are getting more into Piet's head as the book progresses. I feel like some of the things I thought about him (his love for his family, for example) were confirmed for me while other things surprised me. I was intrigued by how methodical and exacting he was in his preparations, and am curious to learn more about his criminal past because I feel like there must be more there than we have been able to glean so far. I can't entirely guess what he is up to, but I can see some preparation for some kind of escape or safety net being set up and I can't wait to see how it plays out. The way he knows the prison inside and out also makes me think there's far more to his background than we have been privy to so far.

 

Zofia's reaction to the news from Piet was off to me. It seemed so weird that she didn't say anything, didn't react with any emotion or passion or feeling. I'm definitely feeling like there is more there than meets the eye. It just seems like such an odd reaction for her to have.

 

I like Erik far more now than I did before. I think seeing how he reacts and attempts to almost convince Piet to not go through with it, his concern for Piet... I felt like this time it was actually genuine and now he irks me less. And we finally know his official job, that he is the detective superintendent from the crime operations unit in Stockholm. Or at least, that's what we're told so far...

 

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crazylilcuban
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

I began the third part and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned why Piet sent the yellow tulips to the warden? These authors have done one great job. Every page is a mind grabber.


Oh now I have to keep going and stay up a little late! I'm so curious, I have been wondering why he sent them to the warden. Back to reading it is then... :smileyhappy:

 

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JamesterCK
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

Well I just finished the book...I just had to see what happens! Unfortunately it might make it a bit difficult to answer questions because I have advanced knowledge of what will happen, but I'll try to recall what I was thinking at that point of the book.

 

What do we learn about? Well, he obviously cares a great deal about his family. Although, I can't imagine putting one's family in harms way like that. Not the best way to show you care, but you can tell he adores them. He's also very, very intelligent. The preparations he took prior to entering the prison were painstaking. The tulips and the books were genius ways to get the supplies inside the prison. The only thing that really confused me was the microphone on the railing of the church tower..But it became very clear later. He definitely prepared for any and every situation that he might get into.

 

Erik Wilson is definitely surprising. He actually cares a lot for Piet, considers him a good friend. Trusts him without a second thought. It's really quite touching the way he encourages him to back out of the mission even though it would ruin the whole operation. You know a handler wouldn't do that for just anyone, they would tell any lie they had to to get the informant to do their job. But he cared enough for Piet's safety that he gave him a choice.

 

Zofia is still a mystery to me. It's apparent how much Piet loves and adores her, but not much is revealed about her character. The fact that she didn't really react when he told her the whole story was strange. You would think she would be crying or angry, but she didn't say anything. Maybe she had suspicions the whole time that he had been lying to her?

 

Obviously Piet has been in prison before and knows what goes on inside prisons. All prisons are different but I assume they operate in much the same way.

 

I think in at least a small way the man the police arrested was the "real" Piet Hoffman. He may have been playing a part, but there was so many unknowns. The fear was his own; fear of being discovered as a snitch, fear of never seeing his family again. You can play a part all you want, but there are parts of yourself that you can't completely erase from your mind.

 

Jamie"Bookerella" Kline
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flouncyninja
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

Wow, I really want to know what Piet did before he became an infiltrator.  There have been vague references to his past, but nothing concrete said.  He had quite the set up to put together before being arrested and knew everything he needed to do to safeguard himself if Erik and his cohorts couldn't come through for him.

 

To be honest, I'm not really sure what he did.  I tried to visualize the deconstruction of the books to hide gun parts and explosives, but based on the discriptions, I couldn't tell if he was hiding things in the bindings or in the pages itself (like those hollowed out book safes).  Also not too sure how the transmitter in the church tower is going to help him out or why he kept pretending he had a gun to shoot through the working room of the jail.  All a little hazy to me.

 

 

We get a much closer look at Piet Hoffmann in the brief days that make up Part Two of Three Seconds. What do we learn about him? Have your ideas about him changed or solidified?

 

He has a split personality almost - the cold, calculating criminal who knows exactly how to smuggle things into jails, has access to drugs, explosives and large amounts of cash, and has teeny tiny little guns.  Then there's the family man who loves his wife and kids, and hates lying to them about his criminal side.  He's trying to provide for his family even when he's going to be away.  I'm glad he came clean to Zophia, but overall, this short section really freaked me out in regard to Piet's character.  He came off much more as a professional and less like a well-trained actor pretending to be a criminal.

 

We get a very detailed description of the progress of Piet's methodical action, without being given any explanations of what he's up to. Even when we "hear" his thinking, we get only small cryptic thoughts without knowing how to interpret them. What happens to the pace and the tension in the novel in these pages? 

 

It moves pretty quickly and there are a lot of minute details in there, but like I said above - little to no idea of what he has planned.

 

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

 

I'm guessing he's going to intercept the tulips being sent to the jail so that he can take out the drugs before they reach their "intended" recipient.  The explosives are for a jail break and the buried cell phone is to reach Erik after he busts out, but I don't get the receiver pasted onto the church tower.

 

What do we learn about Erik Wilson in these chapters?

 

Still next to nothing other than he's a dedicated cop and he's getting too close to his asset, giving Piet numerous times to get out of the plan.  He seems more compassionate now, but he's a loner with no family and he might get his personal feelings involved, causing trouble in the future.

 

Do you have a clearer picture of who Zofia is as a person?

 

She likes the silent treatment, so that makes her pretty passive-agressive.  We don't know if she's going to stick with Piet through this or take the kids and the money and run as far away as possible.  I disliked her now that we've seen more of her.  She seems kind of weak.


What does it tell us about Piet that he knows so much about prisons and the life inside and around them?

 

He's way more experienced that I'd originally taken him for.  I thought he'd only been jailed for drug possession or something minor, but the guy knows what he's doing.  He's well-rehersed and knows what works.  He's smart.

 

Is the man the police arrest in any way the "real" Piet Hoffmann?

 

I think this goes back to what I said about him having split personalities.  I think that Piet - the violent, spitting, abusive Piet - might have been who he was before his previous jail sentence and - more importantly - before he met Zophia and became a father.  After marrying and having children, he seems to want to be a better man, but his ties to the criminal world aren't allowing it.


 

 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

I posted this in an earlier post. I had trouble understanding it also.

You can find everything on the internet. How do you make a hollow book? Just check this out to find out how to do it.

 

 

 

 


flouncyninja wrote:...edited by twj...

To be honest, I'm not really sure what he did.  I tried to visualize the deconstruction of the books to hide gun parts and explosives, but based on the discriptions, I couldn't tell if he was hiding things in the bindings or in the pages itself (like those hollowed out book safes).  Also not too sure how the transmitter in the church tower is going to help him out or why he kept pretending he had a gun to shoot through the working room of the jail.  All a little hazy to me.

 

 

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terilhack
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

As for Piet, I felt the act of capturing him was also pretty brutal. Then once in prison we see this whole otherside that Piet was methodical in his actions and planned well in case of escape/capture.

 

I think the line for good and bad is pretty blended here. The intentions I think on the bakc burner throughout the characters in their mind might be good, but for a lot of what is going on in this section is pretty brutal and bad. For this being somewhat true, I was having a hard time getting through some of these scenes and even for in the justification of theses characters actions seemed abrasice and more harming to the cause for me.

 

I wonder about Zofia since I am not getting a good reading on her in this part. I am asuuming that she had a whole valuable part in the book, so I am feeling we will be finding out more about her character as the stroy develops further.

 

TeriC
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salander_9277
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

We get a much closer look at Piet Hoffmann in the brief days that make up Part Two of Three Seconds. What do we learn about him? Have your ideas about him changed or solidified?

 

We get a very detailed description of the progress of Piet's methodical action, without being given any explanations of what he's up to. Even when we "hear" his thinking, we get only small cryptic thoughts without knowing how to interpret them. What happens to the pace and the tension in the novel in these pages? 

This section has really intrigued me and I'm much more involved in the story now.


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

I think Piet is making sure all his bases are covered.  If the police don't back him, he has a secondary way out.  Explosives make me think that there is some way the amount he's using will basically either kill him if he's standing in the prison in the right place or that it will plan his escape.  It's amazing how he is able to do all this planning on no sleep!

 

What do we learn about Erik Wilson in these chapters?

I think he cares what happens to Piet but is not really in a position to do much if the police decide to let Piet rot...which looks likely considering Grens is like a bloodhound on the murder investigation.

 

Do you have a clearer picture of who Zofia is as a person?

I still have no idea about Zofia.  What will she decide, I wonder.  Does she just hate Piet for being lied to the entire time?

 

What does it tell us about Piet that he knows so much about prisons and the life inside and around them?

He spent a year in prison, I'm sure that has a lot to do with what he knows.  But it also seems like very detailed and extensive knowledge and I'm curious to see if not all is as it seems.

  

Is the man the police arrest in any way the "real" Piet Hoffmann?

I think Piet is good at playing whatever role is required of him.

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. ~W. Somerset Maugham

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gl
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gl
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

We get a much closer look at Piet Hoffmann in the brief days that make up Part Two of Three Seconds. What do we learn about him? Have your ideas about him changed or solidified?

 

What does it tell us about Piet that he knows so much about prisons and the life inside and around them?

 

Is the man the police arrest in any way the "real" Piet Hoffmann?

 

I'm really rooting for Piet Hoffman. The fact that he knows so much about prisons and the life inside doesnn't affect my respect for him. I see it as part of his past, his having been though prison and that he was intelligent, cautious, savvy and tough/strong enough to do more than survive. He left with skills and built upon them.  He's also got the technical skills and knowledge of the system to coordinate and orchestrate his mission and release.

 

The police arrest jacket described someone drastically different from the real Piet Hoffman, so much so that as I was reading about the changes to his record I was getting anxious.  I could just see how things could go wrong and how because of the new information the police would be given shoot to kill orders and Piet wouldn't have the chance to explain or to the escape that he expects.

 

I'm loving Three Seconds - I can't keep to the schedule and keep reading ahead.

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elaine_hf
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

[ Edited ]

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

I posted this in an earlier post. I had trouble understanding it also.

You can find everything on the internet. How do you make a hollow book? Just check this out to find out how to do it.

 

 

 

 


flouncyninja wrote:...edited by twj...

To be honest, I'm not really sure what he did.  I tried to visualize the deconstruction of the books to hide gun parts and explosives, but based on the discriptions, I couldn't tell if he was hiding things in the bindings or in the pages itself (like those hollowed out book safes).  Also not too sure how the transmitter in the church tower is going to help him out or why he kept pretending he had a gun to shoot through the working room of the jail.  All a little hazy to me.

 


Hi all. Having made one of those books (no, not for a jail term!! :smileywink:) I can tell you that it is NOT easy. It is a major effort to cut through the pages of a book with an exacto knife, or really any other blade. And then gluing the pages together, neatly, is another Herculean task. Thinking about that 'altered book' increases my respect for Piet's skills! It obviously can be done, but to do it neatly so it doesn't arouse suspicion is another matter. Think of how the pages of a big, fat book curve - when you're gluing them together, they have to be held together properly so the book closes correctly. It's a mess, and one of the reasons that altering books is not my forte....

 

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
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no4daughter
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 


BookWoman718 wrote:


 

The description of creating tiny hiding places in books was utterly enthralling.  (I did wonder, though, if items requested by prisoners are not routinely X-rayed in Sweden.  I am under the impression that they are here.  We X-ray items going into airplanes and courthouses, and any other place we think there could be a threat;  surely prisons are a logical place to be equally vigilant?)

 


I have been inside a number of MN prisons because of my work.  In my experience, they just have you go through a metal detector and, if it is set off, a pat search is done.  I don't know if drugs would show up on an x-ray but you would think they could have a few drug detecting canines in the mail room!

 

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no4daughter
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 


Rachel-K wrote:

 

 

Do you have a clearer picture of who Zofia is as a person?

 


 

I don't think that I have a clearer picture of who Zofia is as a person but I DO have a clearer picture of the relationship between Piet and Zofia.  This passage, from page 179, sums it up for me:

 

"They had lain beside each other in bed and tried very hard to avoid touching.  She had been completely still.  Now and then he had stopped breathing, scared that he might not hear what she didn't say."

 

I am loving this book and wish I could get my hands on the 4 previous novels mentioned in the forward to this book.  As far as I can tell, only one other has been published in the U.S.

 


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no4daughter
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 


BookWoman718 wrote:


 

The description of creating tiny hiding places in books was utterly enthralling.  (I did wonder, though, if items requested by prisoners are not routinely X-rayed in Sweden.  I am under the impression that they are here.  We X-ray items going into airplanes and courthouses, and any other place we think there could be a threat;  surely prisons are a logical place to be equally vigilant?)

 


My daughter works in the X-ray department at a hospital and I had her ask an MRI technician that she works with if the drugs Piet put in the books would show up on an X-ray and here is her response:

 

 

Colleen said she highly doubts that you would be able to see that on an x-ray.  She said there would have to be a metalic like substance included in the powder.  She said - very unlikely.

 

 


 

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scnole
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

[ Edited ]

Piet has a lot of courage to leave his family and go undercover in the prison. It's frightening to think about it.   He has given up a lot.

 It appears that he knows a lot about prisons since he has been in prison before.   I wonder if he has previously worked undercover in prison  

At first it was difficult following the flow of the book and I started over twice.  But, now I find it hard to put the book down.


thewanderingjew wrote:

I am still unsure of whom Piet/Paula really is because he seems to have unexpected skills and knowledge. He adapts so easily that it would seem plausible to me to discover that he is some kind of a government agent, as well, rather than a criminal agent for the police. I keep wondering if he has another role to play that we don't yet know about. How did he get these additional skills and information?

 


Rachel-K wrote:

 

 

We get a much closer look at Piet Hoffmann in the brief days that make up Part Two of Three Seconds. What do we learn about him? Have your ideas about him changed or solidified?

 

 


 

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scnole
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

I'm with you on Zofia.   I haven't figured her out yet.   There wasn't much detail on how she reacted when Piet told her he was going to be in prison.  


thewanderingjew wrote:

Zofia is an enigma to me. She is non communicative. Her character has not been developed. Her job has not been explored. Their relationship has not been explored. We know Piet worships her and she worships her children. We know she somehow saved him from his drug addiction.

Her reaction to the knowledge of what her husband was preparing to do was without passion. We don't even know how she really feels about it. We do know that her silence is somewhat indicative of her displeasure because of other incidents, but that is it. So, really, I still haven't got the foggiest idea about who Zofia is, as a person.


Rachel-K wrote:

edited by twj...

Do you have a clearer picture of who Zofia is as a person?

 

 

 


 

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JerseyAngel
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

I don't think that Piet even knows who the real Piet Hoffmann is, anymore. The lines have blurred so significantly that when he is arrested, he seems to have transformed completely into the Paula persona.

The brutality of the police, when arresting him, even though he put up no fight, was particulary disturbing to me. I know he was supposed to have attacked the police in the past, but still, their behavior was reprehensible. After reading interviews of the authors and learning that much of the information in the novel is based on facts, I was even more horrified. I hope that the Swedish police are not as corrupt as they seemed when they arrested Piet. The officers turned a blind eye to his beating even though their job is to uphold the law not break it!

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

I have to agree with you. Very shocking to hear that much of the information is based on facts. I don't know what is considered normal there. I am sure there are countless factual based stories about police brutality here that could be used in a novel. So I can only hope these are isolated and not completely normal.

 

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JerseyAngel
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

Zofia, for me, is still a big question mark. As are most of the characters. We are slowly allowed to learn more & see more but sometimes they don't give you enough info. to form a solid opinion or they just leave more questions. This can be completely frustrating but intriguing all at the same time.

 

Piet still seems to have dual personalities and I can't tell which is the real Piet. I'm not sure that he knows himself. I think parts of both are real parts of him, he just tries to keep them separated. As for Piet's knowledge of prisons & life inside, the obvious is that Piet has spent a lot of time in prison. Someone else raised the question of it being more than that. I guess it's hard to say. If he has been a criminal most of his life & spent a great deal of time in prison then it would be expected that he have a great deal of knowledge & skills in all of the areas we have seen. Or are these skills taught & information learned from elsewhere?

 

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WickedAK
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two


Rachel-K wrote:

 

 

We get a much closer look at Piet Hoffmann in the brief days that make up Part Two of Three Seconds. What do we learn about him? Have your ideas about him changed or solidified?

 

I believe Piet is doing what he needs to to protect his family, even if that means going back to jail and deal drugs. He is definitely walking a very thin line of bad vs. good. He seems to have his priorities straight. Curious to see how his character develops further.

 

We get a very detailed description of the progress of Piet's methodical action, without being given any explanations of what he's up to. Even when we "hear" his thinking, we get only small cryptic thoughts without knowing how to interpret them. What happens to the pace and the tension in the novel in these pages? 

 

Both the Pace and the tension pick up...The tension keeps you glued until somebody pry's the book from my hands. Very very well written.

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

 

He's closing up loose ends and making sure things are set to take his "job" further. Including making sure his family is taken care of while he's in jail.

 

What do we learn about Erik Wilson in these chapters?

 

I have learned to distrust Erik a little. I said earlier that we had no reason to distrust him but he's shown more of his motives since then. He could tear this whole operation up or do his job and keep quiet.

 

Do you have a clearer picture of who Zofia is as a person?

 

NO...I wish we could get to know her more. We know she's a fierce mother. And that's a big part of her personality. I bet she'd do anything to take care of those boys. Even if it meant leaving Piet.

 

What does it tell us about Piet that he knows so much about prisons and the life inside and around them?

 

That he has experience. He's done his time and research on these prisons, and it may just save his life.

 

Is the man the police arrest in any way the "real" Piet Hoffmann?

 

I don't think so. The real Piet is a father and a husband, one who wouldn't do anything to hurt his family. The police arrested "Paula" and in a way Piet may be hibernating to get through his time in prison.


Sorry I'm so behind! Got caught up with the Holidays! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

 

Alicia in a very very cold AK  :smileyhappy:

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corky200
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two

I just wonder if its so confusing now will it ever make sense or have I missed important clues all along? It seems too simple in a complex sense that two have merged as one.
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nymazz
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Re: Three Seconds: Part Two


scnole wrote:

Piet has a lot of courage to leave his family and go undercover in the prison. It's frightening to think about it.   He has given up a lot.

 It appears that he knows a lot about prisons since he has been in prison before.   I wonder if he has previously worked undercover in prison  

At first it was difficult following the flow of the book and I started over twice.  But, now I find it hard to put the book down.



I'm wondering, he definitely needed courage go undercover, but was it also an act of desperation at this point?  Would he do anything just to get out of this life and hopefully be allowed to live a "normal' life with Zofia and the boys.

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. -Mason Cooley-