The Pepsi Signs
Michael Pierce is having a series of really bad days. A mortgage broker for Argent Bank, Michael has been blindsided by complications in several seemingly perfect deals. His marriage is on the rocks. Most importantly, a deal he not only brokered, but also in which he has invested heavily—along with his most cherished childhood friends—is endangered by the quibbles of a conservation board. In the midst of these worries, Laura Rodriguez, a coworker to whom he’s been fighting an attraction for ten years, contacts him for advice after uncovering a theft of money from the bank. Suddenly, Michael and Laura find themselves under attack from would-be terrorists and fighting for their lives.
With The Pepsi Signs, Hansen attempts to weave together the stories of a large cast of disparate characters with mixed results. The shifts in point of view, often occurring within the same paragraph, can be confusing, and the characters’ need to rehash the backstory with each change in point of view makes the novel extremely repetitive. The characters cross paths only by the most unbelievable of circumstances—a banker discusses his “salami scheme” in a public restroom—causing the plot to be driven by series of coincidences and chance meetings. The kernel of a good story is here, but it’s hard not to be distracted.
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