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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

 

I think you are probably right. If he didn't go through with it, they might have figured out he was a plant.
SandyS wrote:

 And then Pier says "You know that I've got to do it.".  I interpreted this as needing to complete the drug deal.  If he backed out of the deal then someone would kill him.

 


Peppermill wrote:

 


JaneM wrote:  I think my impression from Paula's first call to Erik was that he suspected something was wrong with the deal.  Maybe from a prior conversation with the buyer (although, like you, I'm not sure how the buys get set up.)  But in any case, Piet was worried enough to want to meet Erik to talk it over.  And his urgency must have come through for Erik to tell him to abort.  And then Pier says "You know that I've got to do it.", which I interpreted as killing the buyer.  I don't think he knows that he is a Danish informant - merely that the deal is going sour.

 

Thx for your response, Jane.  Now, I have another question ==  Why that interpretation? ('cause that puts a whole different slant/interpretation on what follows.)

 

Paula told Erik he had to go through with it because otherwise he (Paula) would have been killed for not going through with it.  It's all so complicated because there are so many different parties involved in all these deals.

 

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beak77
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


JaneM wrote:

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?


I wondered if he was going to cut them & take a share of the money. Again, for his way of thinking every man for his own. Maybe a plan for survival for when he gets out of jail- especially if he'll be wanted by the Polish Mafia & The Swedish government/police.

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beak77
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I googled Swedish names:

Piet means stone and Paula is a girl's name that means small or humble. I didn't know if that would shed any light on Hoffman.

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

That is a great piece of information, thanks. I think if the names were meaningful, the Piet personality should have been named Paula because Piet seems soft and gentle, but Paula can be hard and cruel like a stone. After awhile, Piet doesn't really seem to be able to separate the two. Paula takes on some of Piet and Piet takes on some of Paula. I wonder if he will merge into a better or worse person in the end?

 


beak77 wrote:

I googled Swedish names:

Piet means stone and Paula is a girl's name that means small or humble. I didn't know if that would shed any light on Hoffman.


 

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


thewanderingjew wrote:

That is a great piece of information, thanks. I think if the names were meaningful, the Piet personality should have been named Paula because Piet seems soft and gentle, but Paula can be hard and cruel like a stone. After awhile, Piet doesn't really seem to be able to separate the two. Paula takes on some of Piet and Piet takes on some of Paula. I wonder if he will merge into a better or worse person in the end?

 


beak77 wrote:

I googled Swedish names:

Piet means stone and Paula is a girl's name that means small or humble. I didn't know if that would shed any light on Hoffman.


 


I didn't know where to post this   Swedish sounds a lot like German..If that helps Thanks beak77 for the name meaning's..Interesting...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I agree with SandyS.  If Paula aborted the deal, pg 9:  "You know thqt I've got to do it.  Or I'll get two bullets to the head."

 


SandyS wrote:

 And then Pier says "You know that I've got to do it.".  I interpreted this as needing to complete the drug deal.  If he backed out of the deal then someone would kill him.

 


Peppermill wrote:

 


JaneM wrote:  I think my impression from Paula's first call to Erik was that he suspected something was wrong with the deal.  Maybe from a prior conversation with the buyer (although, like you, I'm not sure how the buys get set up.)  But in any case, Piet was worried enough to want to meet Erik to talk it over.  And his urgency must have come through for Erik to tell him to abort.  And then Pier says "You know that I've got to do it.", which I interpreted as killing the buyer.  I don't think he knows that he is a Danish informant - merely that the deal is going sour.

 

Thx for your response, Jane.  Now, I have another question ==  Why that interpretation? ('cause that puts a whole different slant/interpretation on what follows.)

 

(Bold added.) 


 


 

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maxcat
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I understand now the difference between Piet and Paula. I had to reread the first part again to refresh myself. Paula is Piet's contact name that he will use with Erik Wilson. Piet will infiltrate a Polish mafia group through prison and hopes that nothing will go wrong because if he is found out, he is a dead man.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 


maxcat wrote:

I understand now the difference between Piet and Paula. I had to reread the first part again to refresh myself. Paula is Piet's contact name that he will use with Erik Wilson. Piet will infiltrate a Polish mafia group through prison and hopes that nothing will go wrong because if he is found out, he is a dead man.


 

The way I remember the difference, Piet, the family man and Paula, the infiltrator.  In my posts I use the name according to the context.  You do this enough and you begin to wonder like Piet/Paula, you tell so many lies that you don't know the fine line between fact and lie!

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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 


beak77 wrote:

I googled Swedish names:

Piet means stone and Paula is a girl's name that means small or humble. I didn't know if that would shed any light on Hoffman.


 

Thank you so much for posting this!  I wonder if the choice of names was intentional.

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Caffrey
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

When & Where are the discussion questions for part 2? I do not know if I just cannot find them or if they are not posted yet. 

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cocospalsGG
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

[ Edited ]

I agree with beak77. I kept waiting for Paula to appear. Paula appears to be a lady with alot of guts.  I also find it interesting that the characters Piet and Paula  actually have characteristics of the others name. ie: Paula means small and humble yet she is one tough cookie and Piet is more the weak personality. I wonder if this was done on purpose.

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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

What do we know so far about Hoffmann? He is a good cop, ready to do what it takes to bring the bad guys down, but loves his job too much (he put his family in danger).
 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other? It seems like they trust each other enough to work together, but something doesn't feel right about Wilson.
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann? He related to the victim entirely. He was cop, undercover, trying to find justice, but unlike Hoffman, Carsten failed. Carsten gave up too easily. I think if he would've tried harder, Hoffman would've been on his side.
 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? I don't think she knows the entire truth, but she knows enough to worry about Hoffman day and night. The book so far doesn't talk much about her and how much she suffers, but everyone knows she does.
 
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police? Simply because he likes to take justice into his own hands or come to think about it, maybe he did something, committed some sort of crime he wants no one to know, but someone like Wilson knows what he did and made Hoffman do it. (Hey, you never know-the places my imagination goes!)
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials? So he has evidence for a rainy day. You never know if someone wants to blame him for a crime he didn't commit.
LP
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I wrote earlier that I thought a lot of Piet's problems stemmed from his childhood, lack of nuturing and feelings of abandonment.  On page 180 when he goes to the cementary to find a burial place for his gun, he fantasizes about his father being gone for long periods of time, his coming home and his mother running into his arms and then he running into his father's embrace.  Even though it wasn't how it really was, it was the image he chose to  keep.  He is now looking at the prison wall and all he could think of was hatred and another stay inside the confines of those walls and hatred was the only emotion that was left.  We know he's doing this because he wants to prove to himself that he can do it and he can finish something he's started.  He goes on to reason "this time he would be locked up because he wanted to be--no time to feel anything at all, he was there to complete something and then leave."  I give him a lot of credit here.  This takes a lot of guts!

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T-Mo
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

[ Edited ]

What do we know so far about Hoffmann?

 

By the end of Part One, we know limited information about Hoffman. We know that he was recruited by the Swedish police to serve as an infiltrator of the Polish Mafia. He also has a wife and two small children who he seems to truly care for. At this point though, with such limited information we don’t know for sure which side Hoffmann truly belongs to. I have so many unanswered questions about him still. For one- when exactly did he meet his wife? It doesn’t seem that they were together prior to his incarceration, yet they could have been. So far that information hasn’t been divulged. Who knows if it ever will be, or if it’s even important. For me though, it seems important. Why would a man become involved with creating a seemingly normal life for himself, while also living such a dangerous existence. Does his wife know what he does exactly? The mafia know him to be Piet Hoffmann. So is Hoffmann a fake identity? I don’t think that Zofia, or the children are confirmed as of yet to be Hoffmann’s-- unless I missed something in the reading. Perhaps Piet was recruited first by the Polish Mafia to infiltrate the Swedish Police organization, in an effort to further the Mafia’s agenda. It is not exactly clear to me why he was given the pseudonym Paula. It seems that Paula is only known by a very select few working within the Swedish Police department. I understand the need to keep the identities of infiltrators secret, but I’m not sure why both the Swedish police, and the Polish Mafia know him as Piet Hoffmann. How does that help him keep his two lives separate? Perhaps he is truly working for the Polish Mafia, rather than the Swedish Police. He could be infiltrating the police department to further the agenda of the mafia. So much still to learn... 

 


Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials? 

 

At first I was thinking that Hoffmann wore the recorder to the meeting because he wanted to be sure he didn’t get burned by the government when things finally hit the fan. Now though, I’m not so sure. He could be using it to save himself. He could be using it so that should he end up dead, his family would know that he died in good faith, and he wasn’t a true criminal. Or perhaps he has other ideas somehow related to helping the Polish Mafia expand their market. Upon first reading, everything seems so clear, but the more I look back and actually think about it, I have no clue! I don’t exactly know Piet Hoffmann, or what his true intentions are, so it’s hard to say what his motives really are. 


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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 


beak77 wrote:

I googled Swedish names:

Piet means stone and Paula is a girl's name that means small or humble. I didn't know if that would shed any light on Hoffman.


Interesting!

 

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crazylilcuban
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

What do we know so far about Hoffmann?

 

Hoffmann is an ex-criminal and an undercover criminal informer for the Swedish police, with his hands in the Polish mafia's pots. But on the other hand, he's also a family man.

 

How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?

 

I definitely believe there are high levels of mutual respect, as well as high levels of trust that run between the two of them. But I think that because of the situation and the positions they are in, there is also a level of distrust, especially on Hoffmann's part. Hoffmann's position is precarious, and at any moment he can be burned by any side, so I think he generally has a lot of distrust in general of everybody.

 

Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann?

 

I think this murder has an especially powerful effect on Hoffmann because the guy who is killed is just like him -- an informer. I think he's thinking the whole time that their positions could easily be reversed and he could be the one on the other side of the gun.

 

How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? 

 

I'm sure Zofia knows that there is more going on than her husband tells her because of how secretive he is, but I also think that she seems to choose not to know more. I think it's probably easiest on her to not fully know. 

 

Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?

 

Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting because a man in his position can't ever really trust anybody. I think it's his way of trying to ensure that he doesn't get burned by those in power in Swedish law enforcement.

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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 


beak77 wrote:

I googled Swedish names:

Piet means stone and Paula is a girl's name that means small or humble. I didn't know if that would shed any light on Hoffman.


How interesting! I wonder if that was intentional when the names were chosen. I guess I'll have to keep an eye out for more hints/clues that indicate whether it was intentional or not as I keep reading.

 

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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
Hoffman and Wilson appear to be the only people who trust and respect each other so far in the story. But even that is not a complete trust. Both know that the other one will do whatever it takes to get the job done but protect themselves at the same time. This is why the theme of trust no one and you are always on your own keeps coming up.
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann?
 
Hoffman is rocked by this murder because he is basically looking in a mirror. He sees the reality of the risks he is running by being undercover. It's easy to accept a risk in your mind when you don't have a true first-hand experience of the actual risk. But when it is shoved in your face (or in Hoffman's case, spattered all over him) then the risk suddenly becomes tangible, real, and scary.
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? 
I suspect, and this is just supposition so far, that she knows more than Hoffman thinks. Her reaction to Piet's "working late" when the children are home sick is more profound of a reaction than I would have thought if the issue were as simple as the lie that Piet told.
 
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?
Piet fully expects to be double crossed by the time he gets out of jail. He is protecting himself by getting everything on record, making copies of it and getting the copies ready to send to key players in the event that he is double crossed
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nymazz
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
A former criminal who I believe regrets the choices he made early in his life and became an infiltrator in the hopes of getting out one day. For me he is very believable when he expresses his wish to keep his family safe and to remove himself from this life for them.  I just wonder how a former criminal/infiltrator can just turn away from all that and actually be 'normal'.  It's also interesting that he has two completely different lives, maybe he never intended to have a family life until he was free, and didn't plan on falling in love and having children.
 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
I think Wilson trusts Hoffman completely, but I am not so sure Hoffmann feels the same,
I think he might worry about Wilson's bosses (Police and Gov officials)  and if they will honor promises Wilson makes.
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann?
Because with one misstep it could be him.
 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? 
I'm not sure about this yet, but I think she might have suspicions.
 
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police?
I think there is only one reason motivating him, Freedom.
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?
I don't think he completely trusts them or any of the promises they make him.  He might feel once his work is done they will just go back on everything, so he can use the tape against them if necessary.
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. -Mason Cooley-
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 


nymazz wrote:
What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
A former criminal who I believe regrets the choices he made early in his life and became an infiltrator in the hopes of getting out one day. For me he is very believable when he expresses his wish to keep his family safe and to remove himself from this life for them.  I just wonder how a former criminal/infiltrator can just turn away from all that and actually be 'normal'.  It's also interesting that he has two completely different lives, maybe he never intended to have a family life until he was free, and didn't plan on falling in love and having children.

 

Bold italics added.

 

I think that issue of a former criminal being able to return to 'normal' is a major social issue, including in the US where we have one of the highest rates of incarceration as a percentage of the population among the first world nations.  Restoring relationships to ones of trust are often exceedingly difficult, both with individuals and within institutions.  We see Piet struggle with it:  he seeks someplace where he knows he can perform well; he has become almost addicted to the adrenalin rush of danger.  Yet, he clearly cares about his wife and children.

"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