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DawnGR
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


CAG wrote:

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

I do have a theory about Zofia,,She is either The Daughter,Niece  of someone in the The Polish Mafia,,or Swedish Mafia,..Or even with The Swedish Intelligence,She was introduced to Piet.They 'Fell in Love,and she knows everything..Piet of course is not aware of this.. ..She has kept him focused,happy..with their "Family Life"..But all could change..she might want out and will be on the run..Sounds a bit far fetched....,and the stakes are high......I still believe Grens plays a larger role in this...He is a protector..One of the last Good Guys..so far..Of course as I will read on over the weekend..all will change...Susan


Oh, I like your theory. Very interesting thoughts since I have believed from the first Zofia has a secret of her own.

 


It reminds me alot of the movie GOOD FELLOWS in a way. The wife knows the husband is involved in "family" business but keeps her nose out of it until a certian point. Then they turn witness and are in witness protection. I can see this happening and I can see Zofia taking on a much bigger role as her husband gets  infiltrates deeper and deeper.

“The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.”
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Deltadawn
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 

I agree completely.....

DSaff wrote:

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.

 

 


 

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amomthatlovestoread
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I totally agree with you in that I also had a really hard time with the beginning of the book. 

You have some great thoughs.

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amomthatlovestoread
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 

I have a hard time believing  the Zofia doesn't suspect something.  Though because we dont know much about her, time may tell. 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I think that Erik Wilson trusts Paula/Piet. He has no reason not to trust him. Why would he willingly return to jail if his intention was not to fulfill his part of the bargain. I also believe that Paula/Piet does trust Erik, as well, but he is not naive enough to believe that the system will protect him. Everyone has pretty much told him that if he fails, he is on his own. I think he wears the wire to blackmail anyone who tries to get in the way of his freedom after his job is done regardless of the outcome.

It hardly seems fair to leave him hanging out there, unprotected, when he risks his life for their cause. It seems unfair for innocent people to be used and discarded like just so much detritus simply because they made a mistake in the past for which, by the way, they have repaid society. Sometimes governments engage in conspiracies to accomplish greater goals without really considering the sacrifices made for their cause.

I have to wonder again, does the end justify the means. Is there any other way to infiltrate the organizations using technology? Is there so much crime because we look away or do we look away because we are helpless in the face of so much crime? Put another way, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

 


Rachel-K wrote:
What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?

 

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Peppermill
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 


thewanderingjew wrote (excerpt, bold added):
I have to wonder again, does the end justify the means. Is there any other way to infiltrate the organizations using technology? Is there so much crime because we look away or do we look away because we are helpless in the face of so much crime? Put another way, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
TWJ -- When you are ready, read the author's comments, esp. p. 488, for their opinions as expressed here. 
P.S. I believe somewhere it says Sweden has a prison population of 5,000 (don't find it right now).  I haven't cross-checked that with any of the links given.  Wikipedia says the population of Sweden is about 9.5M (2009 census).  
I should probably put this among the links (may eventually do that, too), but here is a Wikipedia article on incarceration in the U.S.   I believe there may be other more authoritative sources on the web, just grabbed this one for a first cut comparison.

 

 

"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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thewanderingjew
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Thanks, I just read p. 487-488. For the life of me, I can't figure out why a society wouldn't provide controlled substances to keep the prison population calm instead of encouraging black market drug distribution and recidivism as a result of it. In the long run, isn't the cost to society far greater than it would be if they chose to control it? Does anyone know if it is actually legal to subdue the inmates?

 


Peppermill wrote:

 

TWJ -- When you are ready, read the author's comments, esp. p. 488, for their opinions as expressed here.
P.S. I believe somewhere it says Sweden has a prison population of 5,000 (don't find it right now).  I haven't cross-checked that with any of the links given.  Wikipedia says the population of Sweden is about 9.5M (2009 census).
I should probably put this among the links (may eventually do that, too), but here is a Wikipedia article on incarceration in the U.S.   I believe there may be other more authoritative sources on the web, just grabbed this one for a first cut comparison.

 

 


 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Incarceration Costs

 

CASA estimates that of the $38 billion spent on corrections in 1996, more than $30 billion was spent incarcerating individuals who had a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse, were convicted of drug and/or alcohol violations, were using drugs and/or alcohol at the time of their crimes, or had committed their crimes to get money to buy drugs.10

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JaneM
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

We know Hoffmann has at least two names and three personae; that he loves his wife and sons; that he is probably a good guy caught up in a web of intrigue in which he must protect himself (and his family); that he is very bright, cunning and has a strong moral sense.  What we don't know is why he is so committed to his mission which risks all that he holds dear.  Hoffmann and Wilson have a mutually enforced reliance in that neither one can achieve his goals without the other, but that it does not include trust.  What's very interesting to me is that on pg. 9 Wilson tells Piet to abort, but Piet continues, knowing that he will be left alone to deal with consequences of his actions.

 

Because there is no trust, Hoffman wears the recorder to protect himself from all sides of the police community and any possible repercussions of his involvement.

Jane M.
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thewanderingjew
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 

I had forgotten about that remark and I am glad that you mentioned it. Maybe it means that Erik does really trust Paula/Piet and does care about what happens to him,so he won't endanger his life unnecessarily. Maybe it also means that Paula, in going through with the meeting, indicates that he is serious about his undercover job and can be trusted.

JaneM wrote:

edited out by twj...
What's very interesting to me is that on pg. 9 Wilson tells Piet to abort, but Piet continues, knowing that he will be left alone to deal with consequences of his actions.


 

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JaneM
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


Vermontcozy wrote:

pen21 wrote:

 


dhaupt wrote:

pen21 wrote:

CAG wrote:

Vermontcozy wrote:

I do have a theory about Zofia,,She is either The Daughter,Niece  of someone in the The Polish Mafia,,or Swedish Mafia,..Or even with The Swedish Intelligence,She was introduced to Piet.They 'Fell in Love,and she knows everything..Piet of course is not aware of this.. ..She has kept him focused,happy..with their "Family Life"..But all could change..she might want out and will be on the run..Sounds a bit far fetched....,and the stakes are high......I still believe Grens plays a larger role in this...He is a protector..One of the last Good Guys..so far..Of course as I will read on over the weekend..all will change...Susan


Oh, I like your theory. Very interesting thoughts since I have believed from the first Zofia has a secret of her own.


I love predictions. This is a good one.

Why has Zofia not confronted Piet more? Wouldn't any wife question more what is going on with the 'business' Piet is involved in?

Your comments are making me think more on this.


Luanne, you are so right. And I feel so naive just taking all this in as fact.


Don't feel naive. I think we all get so involved in the story and the characters lives that we assume our feelings on the storyline. I think that is what can make a story so unique to each of us. But when each of us make a prediction of where/what a character will act/do next, I see how different each of us is. I just love that about these discussions.

 


I think we  are being set up as well By Our Distinguished Authors..Isn't that what Good Authors do..This is a unique inside look to a System that is probably a lot like ours,but sometimes as Americans we tend to overlook,I don't want to know,mentality.We do want to know.in "Three Seconds" Certain books bring out the best in us as readers.Dissecting every Sentence..Plus I am sticking with my Zofia Theory..for now   : )...


I don't think we know enough about Zofia to do anything but guess at what she knows or doesn't know.  Our only introduction to her is through Piet who is an unreliable observer of his own marriage situation.  But I do agree that Zofia should have a more significant role as the story unfolds.  At least I hope she does!

Jane M.
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redfraggle_98
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I think the murder has a large effect on Piet, because this is the moment where his situation begins to unravel and catch up with him.  The man was not supposed to be killed, and it sets up for Grens to begin his investigation.  I think he knows at this point that his secrets are no longer safe.

 

During Part 1, I don't believe that Zofia knows much yet about his double life.  I think Piet did a pretty good job of hiding everything from her and making a new life for himself. 

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JaneM
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I'm not sure about Erik trusting Piet.  More likely Erik is aware that a murder is imminent and does what he is supposed to do - order Piet to stop the exchange as murder is not part of the undercover work.  I think he's just covering his backside in case things go bad.

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

 

I had forgotten about that remark and I am glad that you mentioned it. Maybe it means that Erik does really trust Paula/Piet and does care about what happens to him,so he won't endanger his life unnecessarily. Maybe it also means that Paula, in going through with the meeting, indicates that he is serious about his undercover job and can be trusted.

JaneM wrote:

edited out by twj...
What's very interesting to me is that on pg. 9 Wilson tells Piet to abort, but Piet continues, knowing that he will be left alone to deal with consequences of his actions.


 


 

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Marsha64
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

The murder of the other informant created problems for Piet, but didn't Piet cause the murder to occur? Only Piet understood the language the other informant spoke and he was askin the man thequestions which caused the other 2 to get suspicious of what was being said. Once he said he was Police, then there was nothing much Piet could do to prevent it, but why did he create the situation to begin with?

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JaneM
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

One more thing about Piet Hoffman.  He may not be as moral as I originally thought.   I just reread a section about the amphetamines on p.112 in which he is discussing the purity with Erik.  Piet thinks, "he would later describe to Wilson where and how to find it.  But not yet.  It still had to be cut one more time, his own share, which he sometimes did, sold it on."  Once again we experience the gray-ness of the characters.  Piet is not above getting a cut of the drugs he is dealing with. 

 

And I also find the sentence structure slightly awkward.  As mentioned before, is it from the translation or intentionally obtuse?

Jane M.
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Peppermill
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

[ Edited ]

 


JaneM wrote (bold added):

One more thing about Piet Hoffman.  He may not be as moral as I originally thought.   I just reread a section about the amphetamines on p.112 in which he is discussing the purity with Erik.  Piet thinks, "he would later describe to Wilson where and how to find it.  But not yet.  It still had to be cut one more time, his own share, which he sometimes did, sold it on."  Once again we experience the gray-ness of the characters.  Piet is not above getting a cut of the drugs he is dealing with. 

 

And I also find the sentence structure slightly awkward.  As mentioned before, is it from the translation or intentionally obtuse?


 

Jane -- Good catch, if that is how that sentence on p. 112 is to be read.  I considered that on a first reading, then, said to myself, no, I must be misinterpreting and forgot it.

 

I do think this story makes one think about the nature of trust -- one view is that it is essential to all human relationships -- at one level or another.  Another view is that trust must always be earned/demonstrated to be deserved, yet at the same time trust is always a gift given by the other without proof.

 

Pepper

"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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Peppermill
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

[ Edited ]

JaneM wrote:
I'm not sure about Erik trusting Piet.  More likely Erik is aware that a murder is imminent and does what he is supposed to do - order Piet to stop the exchange as murder is not part of the undercover work.  I think he's just covering his backside in case things go bad.

How could Erik be aware that a "murder is imminent"? 

 

Certainly Erik could realize the risk of accepting a large delivery of drugs with his limited ability to provide cover for Piet/Paula, since Erik was in Georgia, U.S.A., at the time. 

 

It seemed as if Piet/Paula probably did not realize that the buyer was another informant until he was well into questioning the "buyer."  Certainly he did have to establish the credibility of the buyer since such had apparently not been done (possible?) before the transaction was underway.

 

(So far, I have recognized no evidence that Erik might possibly have known beforehand that the buyer in this deal was a Danish informant, but that might have been "handling" he could have done if he had been in Sweden?  Don't have a sense of what is "possible" in situations like these.)

"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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ccshealy
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I think that it is very interesting the way Hoffmann is known as both "Paula" and "Piet."  Each of these names represents a specifica persona.  He tries so hard to compartmentalize his double life and keep his Wojtek dealings strictly in the "Paula" box and his family and personal life strictly in the "Piet" box, but the two end up overlapping and when they do, he has a very hard time dealing with the overlap. 

 

It really is almost like he is two separate people.  "Piet" is the dutiful, attentive family man who is completely in love with his wife and shows a great deal of concern for the health and well-being of his children.  "Paula" on the other hand, has a reputation for being a ruthless criminal.

 

I found it particularly interesting that he uses one male name and one female name.  Also, I saw some irony in this.  When he is "Piet," he is at his most vulnerable.  He is family-oriented and emotional, traits that are stereotypically considered "female."  When he is "Paula," he is an organized, hardened criminal, a more stereotypically "masculine" persona.  I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean, other than being just one more representation of how paradoxical this character is.

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JoanieGranola
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


Rachel-K wrote:
 
 
What do we know so far about Hoffmann? He appears to be a double agent with a hidden agenda.
 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other? Hoffman trusts no one, and Wilson trusts Hoffman because he has to.
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann? Because he was directly involved, felt he should have had more control over the situation, and realizes that he can be put in jail forever for being an accessory to murder.
 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? According to Hoffman, she knows nothing. I have a feeling, though, that he's delusional about how much she really knows. I feel that somewhere down the road we'll find out that she knew much more about what he really does and knew about all the lying than he believes she is aware.
 
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police? I still haven't been able to figure that out. We found out early that he was in a prision and that he's a criminal. However, after reading the last pages of Part I, I get the impression that he's working for someone else (not the Polish/Russian mafia or Swedish police) and was a mole for someone else from the start.
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials? Obviously, for insurance. Insurance for what, I'm not certain. But, as I mentioned in my answer to the previous question, I think he's a mole for another agency - perhaps investigating how many infiltrators work with the Swedish police and how many crimes are covered up in those operations - and is using the recording as proof as well as insurance.

 

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JoanieGranola
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


SandyS wrote:

I wonder if there was a better (faster) way to tie together Piet & Paula.  I needed to reread several portions to try to figure things out.  Once I did figure it out I started the book over to make sure I didn't miss anything.

 

Did anyone get as confused as I did?

 

 


Lis49 wrote:

It took me a while to figure out that Paula and Piet were the same person. 


 


Until it was mentioned that "we use men's name for men agents and women's names for women agents" (paraphrased), I did not know that Paula and Piet were the same person. And I got confused a lot during this first section.