Dead End: Plight of Rudy Barabbas
by Yuan Jur

"Oh Goddess! Rudy thought to himself. Insidia looked to Rudy and whispered, 'She can’t help you now.'"

Rudy Barabbas, a Jamaican cab driver trying to eke out a living in San Antonio, Texas to create a better life for him and his girlfriend, ends up involved with dangerous characters as a result. After trying to cheat in a dice game and getting caught, Rudy ends up in the pocket of the Caracara criminal family, working as a courier for contraband using his taxi cab in secret. On a late night shortly before his shift ends and while set to deliver a package to the Caracaras, a mysterious man gets into Rudy’s cab unexpectedly. The client is Walter Kneebone, a serial killer known in the area as the Keyhole Killer. This chance meeting puts Rudy in contact with an Ultra Demon named Insidius and places him squarely in the middle of a conflict for the souls of humanity, putting his life in great risk.

Like the other Citadel 7 novellas, this one is a self-contained story that builds toward a larger plot developing across time periods and the known and unknown universe. Rudy’s story is a familiar tale of an ordinary person being caught up in extraordinary circumstances, but the level of imagination and creativity on display create something totally unique. Rudy’s encounters with the benevolent Dogg and the sinister Insidio and Insidia create memorable scenes full of action, suspense, and the supernatural. Despite his mistakes, Rudy is eminently likable and an easy protagonist to root for even as he gets himself into increasingly worse situations. On its own, this story will leave readers with plenty of questions and incentive to read the other stories in the series, while fans of the franchise will gladly devour more of the author’s signature style.

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