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JamesterCK
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I'm only about halfway through part 1 so far, so I'll try to discuss the questions I can so far. So Hoffman, so far we know he's a major player (undercover though) in drug trafficking, using people (mules) to bring the drugs over. Obviously he has been in trouble with the law before...I think maybe that's why he's helping them; if he does certain jobs for them, they excuse some of his less than legal previous activities. I really think the murder has a big effect on him because he kind of caused it. He realized the guy wasn't who he appeared to be and he kept pressing him with question after question to trap him in his lies. It worked, and then the guy ended up getting killed. But liked Piet said, if he hadn't done what he did, they might both have died anyway...this way at least he survived. But to be the cause of someone else's death would weight heavily on anyone.

Jamie"Bookerella" Kline
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ncwise
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I think this particular murder has such an effect on Hoffmann because he naturally sees himself in the victim - too close to home.  He realizes how quickly he could lose his life with his wife and sons.

 

I can't believe the Zofia doesn't suspect something - however, we don't know that much about her yet - I am eagerly waiting to find out more about her!

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clodia2
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

As far as the recorder, I think it's his insurance policy, just in case something goes wrong.  I think Hoffmann has little (to no) faith that they will follow through with their promises, so he's covering his bases.  It does make you wonder what else is being recorded, though.  I think Zofia knows something is not quite right, but as far as how much she knows, I don't think we can speak to that right now.  The fact she didn't question him more about certain activities makes me a little suspicious, you would think she would want more details. 

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Lildove3
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

So far,my impression,the reason why Hoffman is affected by this murder, is because it

could have very easily been him,and to no avail it struck a cord irght to home plate. 

Zofia is a smart one,but she's not totaly sure what's going on,but she's definately knows

Hoffman is up to something.  Hoffman wears a recorder for his own protection, so that if

for any reason he gets killed or can't speak for himself, he has his proof if he needs to

prove anything.

CAG
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CAG
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

[ Edited ]

In response to bud12 - As I have said in some of my other posts, I also think Zofia has some sort of secret. I really liked your thought that she may be used later in the story as "some kind of kingpin".

CAG
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DawnGR
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I too agree that Zofia knows somewhat more then she lets on.  Is it out of faith in her husband or does she has or has been gaining by not acknowledging and/or confronting?

 I think Hoffman working for the Swedish police could come for a couple reasons. 1) Trying to redeem himself for his mistakes and earn forgiveness 2) credibility and respect of his family, Esp. his children.

Doing what Hoffman does you tend to make many enemies. Even on the side that is supposed to be the good side. It  is like the saying goes. “ Keep you friends close and your enemies closer” except it is hard to tell with all who surround him at times who those people are. Protection for him.

“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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Darbys_Closet
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

I have read the beginning of this book several times....just about every time a new character was introduced.  Now everyone is settled in and I can read without revisiting the first couple of pages again.  I'm still getting a "read" on the characters yet I do agree with everyone else who has commented so far that there is a great deal of mutual respect between the two men and that Piet has a great deal of remorse over the duties of his job.  I was surprised that the homicide happened yet I am glad that it finally got the detective off of his self made fence!

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skibaer
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Other than Hoffmann's superior cover story, he and the murder victim have a great deal in common. I think Hoffmann both idenfied with him and felt responsible for his murder.

 

I agree with many of the other commenters that Zofia must have at least some idea as to what her husband does for a living. In the first section of the book, Hoffmann's family plays an important role, showing his vulnerability. It also suggests why he is involved with such dangerous work. His family is the most important thing in his life.

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rosia408
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎12-01-2009

Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


Rachel-K wrote:
 
 
What do we know so far about Hoffmann? We know that Hoffman is working undercover for the police. His code name is Paula.I found that having a woman's name very confusing at first. I kept waiting for a woman. He has a wife and two children whom le loves dearly. He had spent time in prison and when he left the prison, the police made a deal with him to work undercover with them and his criminal file would be abolished.
 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other? They have to trust each other to some extent because their lives depend on it, but there iseems to be some element of distrust there.
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann? I think it is because Hoffman realizes that it easily could have been him that could have been killed.
 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? I am sure from the book so far that Hoffman has not told Zofia that he works undercover for the police. He keeps saying that he doesn't lie to her. He seems to stretch the truth. However, Zofia doesn't live in a bubble. She has to know something isn't right. I thing further on in the book, she will know. 
 
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police?I thhink he does it because he wants his name cleared.
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials? He wears that recorder because he is afraid that he will be left on his own irregardless of the outcome, he is using the tape for insurance.

 

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Passie71
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
He once served time for drugs.
Wilson got him out of jail and into the mafia as an informant
He is married with 2 children.  This fact has me puzzled.  How did he meet his wife and how can she not know that he does not work for a security company and what he is really doing. 
Is about to go back into jail to sell drugs for the mafia
 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
 Wilson commented that Hoffmann was his guy and he seems to trust and respect Hoffmann but Hoffmann was wearing a mike to record the whole "trial" conversation make sure his charges were dropped as promised.  Hoffmann only trusts himself.
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann?
 Because he actually witnessed this murder.  He seems to have a guilty conscious but yet keeps leading his double life.
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? 
 This fact has me puzzled.  How did he meet his wife and how can she not know that he does not work for a security company and what he is really doing. She seems to not ask questions and does not want to really now what is going on. How is Hoffmann going to be gone for 2 months??  This relationship puzzles me.  I hope more will be discovered about this character in part 2.
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police?
 I think he does this because it was his ticket to freedom from prison.  His chance to help his guilty conscious.
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?
To record who is there and to make sure that he is given what is promised to him - to make sure he is cleared in 2 months.
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maxcat
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Piet is your average man who loves his wife and kids dearly and hates it when he lies to her about his clientele. He's been in prison before Wilson wants to use him as an infiltrator in a prison situation to catch the gang that is having the prisoners buy drugs. He's very sensitive in that at the murder scene, he thinks that he could have been the one killed. Zofia doesn't know anything about what he is actually doing, but I suspect she knows something secretive is going on with Piet. Piet trusts no one and he carries the recorder to tape the conversation with the group he meets at the end of this first part. I don't understand why he is called Paula also. When I read it, I thought of a reference to a women, not Piet.

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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avid_reader1590
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Pi

@fordmg: 

I still think Piet “ratted” out the agent and I felt it was out of character for someone who was pretending to be someone he was not too. He questioned the buyer about prison life, who he knew and even called the one con to prove the guy was not who he said he was.  Piet had to have known how that was going to end for the guy even if the Danish agent  had not shouted Police. I just don’t think that someone in the same boat would do that. That is just my opinion. 

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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edelweissAM
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Zofia has to know that her husband is not being honest with her. Part of her denial may be fear and part may simply be to protect herself and her children. I do not know whether she is just part of his cover or he really cares for her and the family. Either way, they are both living a lie and I believe that in the future this lie will haunt their life.

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lisapt
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Piet is by far the most interesting character in this novel for me. He seems so competent and is so on top of everything, yet has no one he can be honest with. He lives more of a triiple life than a double one. He is a police informant, he is a drug dealer, and he is a family man. Who he is must change depending on who he is with. I have to wonder what his motives are. I also wonder why he got married and had kids given the danger of his life. I wonder if he has some safeguards in place to protect his family if something should happen to him. I'm really scared for what is going to go on in prison when he has so many potential enemies.
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PiperMurphy
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet


Rachel-K wrote:
 
 
What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
Hoffman leads a double life as a respected family man, and as a reformed criminal working undercover for the police. So far he has been able to keep both lives separate, but it must be nerve racking to be constantly on guard.
  
 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
Hoffman and Wilson seem to have a great deal of trust and respect for each other. I would think that they would have to to be able to successfully pull off the type of operation they are working on.
 
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffman?
Hoffmann got a graphic illustration of how easily they same thing could happen to him with even a tiny slip up. His presence makes him an accomplice to murder if the police won't back him, and it jeopardizes his freedom and his family.
 
 
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police?
To clear his criminal record. I think that he wants to feel worthy of his family's respect.
 
 
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?
He doesn't trust them. He wants a recording for proof because he knows that they will renege on the agreement if necessary.

 

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
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high96
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Pi

 


avid_reader1590 wrote:

@fordmg: 

I still think Piet “ratted” out the agent and I felt it was out of character for someone who was pretending to be someone he was not too. He questioned the buyer about prison life, who he knew and even called the one con to prove the guy was not who he said he was.  Piet had to have known how that was going to end for the guy even if the Danish agent  had not shouted Police. I just don’t think that someone in the same boat would do that. That is just my opinion. 


Ah, but he had to appear that he was in the Polish Mafia and question the buyer that way because if it slipped past him and came back to the leaders that this man was an informer then Piet would have been exposed either for what he is or as an incompetent. This incident was also what he needed to propel himself into a higher position with the Polish Mafia leaders and to gain their unquestionable trust. 

 

"I don't like secrets! All this cooking, and reading, and TV watching, while we... read and cook! It's like you're involving me in crime, and I let you! Why do I let you?" --Emile in "Ratatouille"
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tamarindo
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

Piet painstakingly sets up the recorder to document his meeting with the gov. officials.  Although they have verbally assured him that he will be taken care of afterwards, he knows better than to rely on "casual" promises.  He needs them to be very specific on his hidden recording about how he will be protected, knowing how easy it would be for them to burn him without any kind of evidence that their precarious relationship ever existed.

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Peppermill
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

[ Edited ]

It seemed as if Piet set up the recording with the Swedish officials out of the same motivations that led him to save the murderer's shirt -- evidence of what really happened that could serve as CYA.

 

It is interesting that he took that risk in Sweden; he did not in Poland.  Almost as if he knew that in Poland, to have been caught would have been certain death.

 

My curiosity is what will he do with the recording?  With whom can he entrust it? 

 

(Having just read The Magician's Assistant, I particularly smiled at Piet's tactic of raising his finger to divert attention from the lower part of his body and the trailing cord.)

 

Pepper

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DebsScott
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

What do we know so far about Hoffmann?
Hmm...we know he was a criminal who has served time in prison.  We know he's married and has two children who he seems to love very much.  We know that after his release from prison, he went to work undercover for the police to stop the drug trade in Sweden and in this role he goes by the code name of Paula (which I admit had me confused at the very beginning!)  Personally, I think he is very distrustful of everyone around him except for his wife and that he feels badly having to lie to her about his so-called security firm and where he goes sometimes.  On the other hand, I think Piet is out for Piet and there is an ulterior motive to what he is doing working undercover.
 
How much do Hoffmann and Wilson trust and respect each other?
I believe Wilson trusts Hoffmann..he's come to bat for him several times saying he is not a high risk and that he will do the job.  He's working hard to help him.  I believe Piet is not a very trusting person anyway therefore does not have the same faith in Erik that Erik has in him, but he does respect him.
 
Why does this particular murder have such an effect on Hoffmann?
 I can see why this murder would scare Piet...after all, it could have very easily been him...and still could be!  However, I think it effected him the way it did because now he believes he is drawn deeper into the criminal world.  Not only is he trafficking drugs, but now he's part of a murder.  He was there, he didn't stop it, it makes him an accessory to the crime and could mean more jail time if his role is discovered.  Hence, the concern Erik has about Ewert Grens investigating the murder.  While I believe Piet is a bit selfish in his worry about his murder, I also think he feels guilty that he couldn't stop the murder without exposing himself.
 
How much does Hoffmann's wife, Zofia, know about what he does for a living? 
In my opinion, I think she is completely clueless.  There's never a hint of suspicion in her tone or anything she says.  She believes what he tells her even when it meant he was off all over the place and not home helping take care of the sick kids.  She's totally blind to his actions.  I have the impression, too, that they do not spend a whole lot of time together.  I feel their lives are all rush, rush, rush and there's not a lot of communication, but that's just my feeling. Oh, and I think Piet was totally selfish in getting married and having children while rooting out drug dealers and the mafia for the police.  He has put three people in mortal danger...which is another reason I'm looking for something more to him.
Why do you think he does this dangerous undercover work for the Swedish Police?
I think he is personally try to clear himself of his past misdeeds...basically saying "Look, I've done something good for society, now you all have to forgive me for what I did in the past".  I don't trust Piet...there's something about him that just doesn't sit quite right with me and I feel like he does things for his own selfish reasons.  I hope I'm proved wrong, but my gut tells me he is playing both sides of the fence on this whole drug/mafia thing.
Why do you think Hoffmann wears the recorder to his meeting with government and police officials?
 
Insurance...and maybe blackmail. 
 I am a suspicious person at heart...LOL...I question everyone's motives and try to eek out if there is a hidden agenda to their actions.  We have a ways to go in this book, and although I hope I am wrong about Piet Hoffmann, I don't trust him at all.  If he turns out to be a super good guy, I will print off this post and eat my words! :smileywink:
~Debs~
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elaine_hf
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Re: Three Seconds: Paula/Piet

A couple of things come to mind. About Zofia, perhaps she is trying to hide from herself the knowledge of what her husband does. Of course she must know, at some level, that he is dishonest with her and working in secrets. But maybe not letting herself face that keeps her sane, allows her to carry on with daily activities. And sometimes it seems quite obvious that she avoids allowing herself to think too much about it. For instance, when Piet is supposed to return to take care of the boys so that she can go to work, but can't and calls her, she doesn't 'call him out' on it, she just gets very angry that he appears to have so little respect for her job.

 

I think that Piet does this work because he can't live without that 'edge', the excitement. Face it, he was a criminal prior to working for the police. Now he can do criminal-type activities and be legal! Some people thrive on danger and couldn't live any other way. I really don't think it has to do with any type of misguided hope on his part that he'll get some future reward or pardon.

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