The Damned Busters by Matthew Hughes

Matthew Hughes

I LOVE it when I decide to purchase a book onΒ  a whim, without ever hearing of the author or the books, and it turning out to be a really good book. I was browsing around Barnes and Noble a while ago and they had this book and its sequel, Costume Not Included, on one of the display racks. I read the description of the first book, The Damned Busters, and decided it sounded fun enough and bought it.

Chesney Anstruther accidentally summons a demon one night, and when he refuses to sell his soul it sets off a volatile situation in which Hell goes on strike. Bad things stop happening everywhere, which turns out to be a very bad thing. To try to get his demons back to work, Satan comes up and strikes a bargain with Chesney, which results in him having personal use of the demon Xaphan for two hours everyday to fulfill his heart’s desire: to be a crime-fighting superhero!

This book hooked me in from the very first page. Chesney is a fun character – he’s a bit of a beta male, but he’s also a numbers whiz and pretty clever – almost to a fault. He’s a nice guy though, and I liked seeing him think his way through social interactions and his crime-fighting ways. He loves his comics, and all he wants to do is be a good guy superhero and help fight bad guys. The fact that he has to team up with a demon to do this is hilarious, and I ended up really liking Xaphan – who talks like a 1920’s gangster. But it turns out fighting crime may not be as simple as Chesney was thinking…

There’s also a bit of a religious plot underneath everything that I’m really liking – obviously, since Hell is involved. I don’t want to spoil it for you because it’s a really inventive and unique idea, so you should just read it and see for yourself.

A shy guy who dresses up and fights crime, a gangster-slang talkin’ demon, tension between Heaven and Hell, various dames that may or may not need rescuing – seriously, this book has a lot of weird stuff that comes together in a pretty awesome way. I flew through this book in just a couple days, and I think I’m going to go to Barnes and Noble today to pick up the sequel*. It was THAT good. And according to the publisher’s site, the third book will be out later this year / early next year. I’m already eagerly awaiting it.

Also, I’m a little sad to see that this book doesn’t have many reviews on Amazon, so I’m purposely going to post my review there. I rarely post my reviews on Amazon, but I really think this book and author deserve the praise!


Sarah Says: 4 stars


*So I did go to Barnes & Noble to pick it up, and about 15 minutes before I got there they had just scanned that section for returns. Matthew Hughes’ books were on the returns list, so they MOS’d it and stripped off the cover. I was SO SAD. If only I had read this book a little sooner I could have saved that copy of the sequel from being destroyed. So I guess I’ll have to order it now.



  1. This sounds really cool (and I’m not usually into super heroes). It sounds fascinating and quirky. That’s such a shame about the sequel though. What does MOS mean? I get that they couldn’t resell it once the cover was stripped off, but oh that’s so sad.


    1. Oh, MOS means “Marked Out of Stock”. Ohhhh, bookstore employee lingo, I miss it, lol. So they go through and scan each section and any books that come up “MOS” get deleted from their inventory, stripped, and sent back to the warehouse or the publisher. It’s so sad. I wish they would just put those books on like a 50% off sale before doing that.


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