Reply
Wordsmith
elaine_hf
Posts: 389
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 


Peppermill wrote:

 


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.


 

 

Peppermill, I agree wholeheartedly! Piet isn't just 'almost addicted' to danger, he states somewhere in Part Two that he does need that thrill of danger. Returning to 'normal', whatever that normal is, may not even be possible. I once asked my brother why he constantly chose women who were mentally unstable, and he told me that he needed that excitement, he couldn't choose 'normal', which translated for him into 'boring'. A security company, for Piet, may be a good choice post-prison - it's a kind of sanctioned or legal danger. 

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 


elaine_hf wrote:

 


Peppermill wrote:

 


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.


Peppermill, I agree wholeheartedly! Piet isn't just 'almost addicted' to danger, he states somewhere in Part Two that he does need that thrill of danger. Returning to 'normal', whatever that normal is, may not even be possible. I once asked my brother why he constantly chose women who were mentally unstable, and he told me that he needed that excitement, he couldn't choose 'normal', which translated for him into 'boring'. A security company, for Piet, may be a good choice post-prison - it's a kind of sanctioned or legal danger. 


One might add, however, that there is a community element involved as well.  Those who have been involved in programs for ex-offenders can speak to this better than I can, but recently I have picked up little tidbits about some of the supportive work churches and other organizations have been able to give, not necessarily without some risks to themselves but with considerable value to the individuals involved, their families, and often thereby the larger community by sustaining/supporting a much more stable citizen.  As even the grisly story of Piet tells us, we (generally?) live not by our own wills alone, but with the support of others as well.

 

"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
Frequent Contributor
wendyroba
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎02-21-2007

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
Hoffman is obviously a conflicted and flawed character. We know he served time in prison (but don't know why), we know he is a father and husband who loves his family and is torn about what he does and how he must lie to his family about it. We also know that he is a compassionate man (he is very upset about the murder), but is able to become someone else to do the job he is assigned.
 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
It was interesting to me how much they seemed to trust each other - Wilson wants to protect Hoffman, and Hoffman expects Wilson to protect him (he also turns over all the evidence he has of the murder to Wilson which made me worry a bit as to how that might end up being used).
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann?
Because it could easily be HIM that got killed. The man that is murdered is doing the exact same job that Hoffman does - and his murder brings it home to Hoffman how at risk his life is.
 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? 
Oh, I think she knows quite a bit...but that is their understanding. I don't think she knows specifics, but surely she knows that what he is doing is illegal.
 
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police?
I am not sure yet. Perhaps he can't turn down the money; perhaps he has a deal with the police so that he did not have to serve his whole time in prison if he would agree to work for them.
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?
Because he does not trust them.
Frequent Contributor
ruthieWW
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎01-07-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

This novel is rather difficult to read, in my opinion. Perhaps it is the foreign dialect, or the unfamiliar mob/undercover agent plot that slows me down. But I find Hoffman an intriguing character who double life is hard to balance, especially after the murder, that has left him feeling very guilty.

I think Hoffman and Wilson at this point only tolerate each other in the effort toward a common goal..to put the mob out of business.

Zophia  interests me and her role in this whole scheme is really not yet defined.

Frequent Contributor
Lblaze
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎09-10-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

This novel is also a bit difficult for me to read and therefore I'm reading at a slower pace. Names of places are a little challenging because of the language barrier. But I am really enjoying this book and trying to figure out who these characters really are and how they are all connected. Every new page leads to a new discovery, like the Paula/Piet which sent me back to re-read the first few pages all over again. I find myself referencing them often as I learn more about these characters.

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

[ Edited ]

Lblaze and RuthieWW , you are not alone when it comes to having difficulties with the foreign words, places and names. It confounds me sometimes too. Right or wrong, I take the lazy way out...sometimes I simply ignore them. If it is a word I can look up, I often do, but with names, nothing will help, lol. I turn a blind eye. I hope the authors will forgive me.

 


Lblaze wrote:

This novel is also a bit difficult for me to read and therefore I'm reading at a slower pace. Names of places are a little challenging because of the language barrier. But I am really enjoying this book and trying to figure out who these characters really are and how they are connected. Every new page leads to a new discovery, like the Paula/Piet which sent me back to re-read the first few pages all over again. I find myself referencing them often as I learn more about these characters.


RuthieWW wrote:
This novel is rather difficult to read, in my opinion. Perhaps it is the foreign dialect, or the unfamiliar mob/undercover agent plot that slows me down. But I find Hoffman an intriguing character who double life is hard to balance, especially after the murder, that has left him feeling very guilty.

I think Hoffman and Wilson at this point only tolerate each other in the effort toward a common goal..to put the mob out of business.

Zophia  interests me and her role in this whole scheme is really not yet defined.

Frequent Contributor
Lblaze
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎09-10-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I'm glad I'm not alone! When I'm really involved, the last thing I want to really do is pull myself out of the story to look up a place/location that is foreign to me. I've glazed over a few of the city names and places so far, hopefully it won't come back to bite me in the you-know-what!

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,839
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

 

twj I'm right beside you in that line

thewanderingjew wrote:

Lblaze, you are not alone when it comes to having difficulties with the foreign words, places and names. It confounds me sometimes too. Right or wrong, I take the lazy way out...sometimes I simply ignore them. If it is a word I can look up, I often do, but with names, nothing will help, lol. I turn a blind eye. I hope the authors will forgive me.

 


Lblaze wrote:

This novel is also a bit difficult for me to read and therefore I'm reading at a slower pace. Names of places are a little challenging because of the language barrier. But I am really enjoying this book and trying to figure out who these characters really are and how they are all connected. Every new page leads to a new discovery, like the Paula/Piet which sent me back to re-read the first few pages all over again. I find myself referencing them often as I learn more about these characters.


 



 

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Good grief!  That you gals even imagine needing forgiveness from the authors!

 

One may do some background stuff, and with the Internet, it is even kind of fun these days.  But how many of my books have a little x beside a line with a word that I never stopped to look up!  Maybe that is why I never tested particularly well on vocabulary tests -- lol.  But, if I needed to ask the authors for forgiveness, I'd be on my knees for an awfully long time!

 

 


dhaupt wrote:

 

twj I'm right beside you in that line

thewanderingjew wrote:

Lblaze, you are not alone when it comes to having difficulties with the foreign words, places and names. It confounds me sometimes too. Right or wrong, I take the lazy way out...sometimes I simply ignore them. If it is a word I can look up, I often do, but with names, nothing will help, lol. I turn a blind eye. I hope the authors will forgive me.

 


Lblaze wrote:

This novel is also a bit difficult for me to read and therefore I'm reading at a slower pace. Names of places are a little challenging because of the language barrier. But I am really enjoying this book and trying to figure out who these characters really are and how they are all connected. Every new page leads to a new discovery, like the Paula/Piet which sent me back to re-read the first few pages all over again. I find myself referencing them often as I learn more about these characters.


 



 


 

\

"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
Frequent Contributor
Eckwell
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I think Zofia knows that her husband is into something other than what he tells her.  She may be afraid to know the truth so does not question him much.  I think she worries for her children when they are with her husband.

Correspondent
floreader
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎09-15-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I think Hoffman is a very interesting character.  He plays both sides of the fence and walks a very fine line between his "two" lives.

The murder affects him deeply because it could have been him.

I think Hoffman and Wilson respect each other, but don't really trust each other.  With Hoffman living a double life, he is always on guard and doesn't really trust anyone too much.

I think Zofia suspects more than she lets on.

 

 

Frequent Contributor
kboston
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎04-12-2008

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

What do we know so far about Hoffmann?

 Hoffmann’s character is very complex.  There are so many layers to his character, I did not realize until the middle of the chapter that Paula and Piet were the same person.

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

 I think Wilson trusts Hoffmann more than Hoffmann trusts Wilson.  Hoffmann has a level of trust of Wilson, but he holds a lot of himself back from Wilson.

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

 This murder has such an effect on Hoffmann because he wasn’t able to control the situation like he wanted.  The situation could have also backfired on him and it could have been him that was murdered by the mafia at the same time or when he had to meet with the higher members of the organization.  Also, informants may be charged with murder and he had no way of proving it was not him that killed the other informant.

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

 I’m not sure what Zofia knows about Hoffmann’s business, but I don’t think that she fully believes what he tells her.

Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police?

 Hoffmann does the dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police because it’s an adrenaline rush for him.  It makes him feel alive.

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

Hoffmann wears the recorder to the meeting with the government and police officials, because he does not trust them. He wants to make sure they keep their word about what will happen to his future, it’s an insurance policy.  If they double cross him, everything that was said is on record.

Correspondent
1archi1
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎07-07-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


Rachel-K wrote:
 
 
What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
Hoffmann is working undercover and his, I guess you would say code-name is Paula.  He is a loving husband and father who, I think, took on a little more than he thought he would be.  Although he is very good at being an informer and getting to where he needs to be in the organization.  It seems like sometimes he regrets his decision to be an informer because of the time he misses with his family. 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
I think they trust each other to a point but I believe they both have alot of respects for each other.  Wilson has respect for Hoffmann because of how far he has made it for an informer.  Hoffmann has respect for Wilson because of how Wilson can manipulate the system to get Hoffmann what he needs.
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann?
I think it has such an impact because it could have been him and I think Hoffmann realizes just how far up he has moved in the organization and how real and dangerous being an informer is. 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? 
I am not sure how much she knows.  She probably suspects something is up but I don't think she realizes exactly what it is.
 
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police?
To clear his record, makeup for the wrongs he has done in life.
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?
I think he wears the recorder as insurance.  He doesn't really know who he can trust so if something happens he has it on tape.

 

:smileyhappy:
Contributor
tcg60
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎02-28-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Piet is my favorite character.  I like that he made a deal with the police and keeps his end up.