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Rachel-K
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Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 
 
What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann?
 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? 
 
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police?
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?
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bud12
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎01-26-2009
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I can't yet respond to all of the opening questions, but I do have some thoughts about Zofia. She can't be so dumb not to suspect that Piet is up to something secret. She plays the game just as he does. She showed anger towards him on occasion even if it gets buried again and again. It seems probable that she will be used in the story as some kind of kingpin causing Piet to come clean, only to have a secret herself.

Jo
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tmcb
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

1) Hoffman to me represents the average man, maybe he made some bigger mistakes than most people (ex-con thing) but we all make mistakes. I think at the time the story opens up he generally wants to do the "right" thing and provide for his family. He is truly conflicted between his "undercover" assignment and his family life.

 

2) The trust between hoffman and Wilson, I think is forced. Based on the situation, they have to blindly put some sort of trust in the other man to get what they want out of the situation. For wilson it's to take down the criminals, for Hoffman it's freedom. Respect, I think thats there for both men towards the other.

 

3) I think this particular murder has an affect on hoffman because it could of been him.

 

4) Zofia probably suspects that her husband is not 100% truthful in what he does. Do I think she knows what he is really into? No.

 

5) I think he does the undercover work because he hopes that the swedish police will reward him, and he will get his freedom and protection from them.

 

6) He wears the recorder because he doesn't 100% trust that the government will help him when it comes to the end. He needs to be able to protect himself.

 

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avid_reader1590
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I had a very had time with the first part of this book for several reasons. Piet’ family and the murder of the Danish undercover agent.

I agree about Zofia. She would have to know something is not right with her husband’s strange behavior unless she is totally clueless. I was surprised that Piet would even get married and have a family with his undercover work. The family  would be the first ones the mafia would come after if it went bad. 

I understand why the Danish agent had to be killed so that Gren’s character could come into play but I found it hard to rationalize why another undercover agent would rat him out like that. What did Piet think would happen.....the Polish dudes would just let him go? 

I really like Gren and the story picks up after Piet goes into the prison.

 

It is better to stir up a question without deciding it, than to decide it without stirring it up. ~Joseph Joubert


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bmseara
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Hoffman is at this point my favorite character because I like how he is conflicted with his lives.  He is a criminal turned infiltatror, but I am not sure I 100% trust that.  He may be playing both sides of the fence and that to me is interesting.  I imagine it is hard for him to keep up with the lies all the time, which is why I think Zofia has to know something.  I mean his cover story ins't that great so I bet she is suspecting something or is involved on her own or something.  I would find it strange if she didn't have a bigger part down the road in this novel...I think it will make for a great story. I also think he chose to live this lifestyle because he had no other choice.  He was a criminal before and I think when he was approached by Wilson to work for the Swedish police it gave him a chance to right his wrongs.  Maybe he felt like he could make up for his wrong doings if he played for the "right" team. 

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,832
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Rachel, this is an interesting novel and not one to be read lightly as there's too much information that could be lost if you do.

Now for those questions

 

From the first part of the novel we know that Hoffmann goes by the code name Paula for his Police contact, he is a criminal harvested on his way out of prison by his contact Wilson and has so far reached higher in the criminal hierarchy than any other of his kind.

 

I think that Wilson and Hoffmann trust each other as much as their covert selves can allow.

 

I'm not sure at this point what Zofia knows

 

My first impression of why he does this work for the police is when he started self gratification, but now that he has a family who means more to him and anything it's to make the world a better place.

 

I think he wore the wire because he knew the score going in that if he wasn't arrested he would be on his own when this new phase of the job started and he would be left hanging if something happened. It was insurance

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pen21
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Piet/Paula is walking a fine line between 2 different lives. Piet has the most potential to be misused by others, his family could be used to manipulate him. I think Zofia knows or suspects what Piet is doing. When he took the boys to do work, she was very upset. That was my hint that she knew it was something bad. I don't think Piet can protect his family.

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

The murder of another informant..It could've been him ,Hoffmann,.So this would have an effect on him..He seems to care but only selfishly,,Its all part of his "Job" description so to speak.Hoffmann and Wilson are treading on very thin ice as far as trust in my opinion.Too early for me to tell......His undercover work stems from his Prison time,and it was either stay and serve your time or work with the Police..Seems to have worked out well for Piet so far.....I have no clue about Zofia yet..I want to believe she is totally unaware of his activities.I do feel though as the story continues ,she will play a key role,but will not find out until I read on..When she met him,how much she knows .....Wearing the recorder is his guarantee that its all recorded and can Blackmail them all..if he needs to.....Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Hoffman is an interesting character, one living a double life. He is the one I find balancing the most on the tight rope of life and death, truth and the other truth. His two lives are too intertwined for me. While he tries to keep them apart, his willingness to go to a meeting while leaving his two sick sons in the car worries me. The murder showed him how very tenuous his life was in this infiltration of the mob. It scared him and made him think of his family. I think Hoffman is only involved this far because he was recruited from prison, at least that is how I read it. Now he is in way too deep to get out safely.

 

I don't know if Hoffman and Wilson respect each other as much as they tolerate each other right now. Hoffman is especially upset about the murder he couldn't prevent and the fact that he needs the police to believe that. These two men are working to put the mobs out of business and work together because of that. Hoffman records everything to protect himself.

 

As I said in my general Part 1 post, I think Zophia suspects more than she lets on. She is playing a role right now just as her husband is. Hopefully she will be on the right side of this when it is over.

 

 

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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LorettaP
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

We know that Hoffman has spent time in prison and now works secretly for the police. His undercover work is very dangerous and he could be killed at any time. I think that Hoffman has a secret agenda and that is why he is risking his life. He loves and misses his family so much but he continues to leave and to do his dangerous job. I think Zofia knows he is up to something. She has to suspect the reasons that Piet is always gone.

 

I think that Erik trusts Hoffman more than Hoffman trusts Erik. When Piet goes to the meeting and wears the recorder it proves that he does not trust either side. It seems that Piet has a very small chance of getting out of his situation alive.

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love2overanalyze
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I think this murder is having such an effect on Piet Hoffman because of the love he has for his family. Maybe he is thinking that at anytime it could be him lying there in a pool of blood. Then what will become of his family then when he isn't around to provide and protect them (although how much protecting can you do when you are involved with a mafia).

 

I think he does this kind of dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police as a way of getting out of something else. Perhaps a longer sentence time from when he was locked up before. It would be great to have him lay it all out on the table and explain why he does what he does!

CAG
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CAG
Posts: 218
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Hoffman is an interesting character. We know that he has a past criminal history and  I think maybe got started working for the police for the thrill of it, making some money and perhaps because it is what he knows best-criminal activities. I don't think he is a "bad guy" and he is  complex. He is also very good at what he does.  He loves his family and the balancing act he is doing is becoming more difficult and dangerous.

 

Hoffman does not trust Wilson completely and I don't know if he respects him or not.  Wilson does trust Hoffman and probably respects him as well.

 

I think the murder makes Hoffman aware of the danger he is in and now that he has a family it really hits home.

 

I don't know how much Zofia knows at this point. I would think she knows Hoffman is lying about some things. I am interested in her because for some reason I think she has something she is hiding too.

 

I think he started out working for the police for the thrill of it. I think he stayed with it because it is what he does best.

 

I think Hoffman wore the recorder because he doesn't trust anyone and he wanted some sort of insurance policy for getting out of prison and not being charged for the murder. He is trying to protect himself.

 

I like this book. It is not a quick read and it is holding my interest

CAG
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tberra
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
 We  know he is an ex con  he is  of  Swedish/Polish heritage . Married  with 2 children. He  trusts  none but himself  to some extent it seems he doesn't even trust his wife.
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann? It  could have been him .
 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does For a living? I feel she has  suspicions  but  nothing solid I feel she loves him she doesn't  trust him .
 
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work For the Swedish Police?In the hopes that he will live long enough For the "big"payoff  new id  new start in a new land a new life For his family that otherwise he an Ex-con could not give his family.
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?For  back up  you can not  trust anyone 'CYA"
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fordmg
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


avid_reader1590 wrote:

I understand why the Danish agent had to be killed so that Gren’s character could come into play but I found it hard to rationalize why another undercover agent would rat him out like that. What did Piet think would happen.....the Polish dudes would just let him go? 

I really like Gren and the story picks up after Piet goes into the prison.

 


I don't think that Piet ratted out the Danish agent.  He tried to stop the shooting, but after he called out 'police', the Polish criminal with a gun just shot him.  After all he was not staying in Sweden, and may not come back, so he didn't care.  This shooting is what started the REAL problems for Piet.  He is trying to cover it up so he can get inside to complete his project.

MG

 

 

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nbmars
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

To me, Piet and Zofia sound like a noir-y version of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies.  They have sort of hectic lives and I can imagine getting away with having a secret existence.

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mommybooknerd
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I have read the whole book and wish we had a place to discuss the whole thing...this will be torture to wait for the club to discuss the end!
You are the author of your own life story.
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Lis49
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

It took me a while to figure out that Paula and Piet were the same person.  Piet is a loving and caring family man who is lying to his wife.  He is under time pressures and cuts corners with his children in order to get things done.  Hoffman and Wilson trust and respect each other.  They have a long history.  Hoffmann feels guilty about the murder because he doesn't think that the person did not have enough experience and made bad decisions on how to handle the situation.  Hoffman feels that they are on the same side and felt bad that he could not save him.  The murder is used to say that criminals are better at the undercover work than police are.  Zofia does not know much about Piet's security business.  Piet feels that he is doing something important.  He started doing the work for self gain--making his prison record better.  He is still basically a criminal and needs to be wary of being betrayed. 

Lis49
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Superbookworm
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


mommybooknerd wrote:
I have read the whole book and wish we had a place to discuss the whole thing...this will be torture to wait for the club to discuss the end!

You are fast!

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mv5ocean
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


 
What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
He is in deep and truly longs for a time when he can simply enjoy his wife and kids, although right now there is no way out short of a bullet.
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann? I believe because he was there and couldn't speak up and stop it because it would have possibly meant his death.  He feels responsibility for his silence.
 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? 
Although right now it appears she doesn't know, it seems impossible that he runs here and there with the oddest schedule and she doesn't question it.  It is almost that she is playing along.......maybe she has an agenda of her own.
 
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?  I believe he trusts absolutely no one and he wants proof that they will be required to do as they say they are going to do.

 

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Caffrey
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I think Zofia plays along with Piet because that is what Piet is doing. They both love each other so much that they are both trying to keep the ruse alive for the sake of the other person.