Hell to Pay by Matthew Hughes

Matthew Hughes

This is the third (and last, I believe) book in the To Hell and Back trilogy by Matthew Hughes. You can check out my reviews of The Damned Busters and Costume Not Included. Be warned, there are spoilers here for those first two books!

At the end of Costume Not Included, things were a little wonky. Satan, Hardacre, Chesney’s Mom, and Joshua were all chilling in the Garden of Evil working on a new draft of the Bible. And from spending time in Joshua’s presence, Chesney was cured of his autism and now behaved and thought more like a normal person.

Now Chesney (with the help of his demon sidekick Xaphan) is battling bad guys out-of-town while Melda tries to manage the financial assets that Hardacre left in their care. Chesney also learns that Poppy Paxton hasn’t been the same since Xaphan wiped her memory of the horrible things she saw, and he’s determined to make it right. Meanwhile, Satan’s archduke Adramalek knows that something suspicious is going on when he can’t contact Satan and Xaphan isn’t talking. Also, there are warrior dinosaurs.

Basically a lot of crap hits the fan, and it went in a really odd direction. There were still some enjoyable parts and I was happy to see more of Xaphan, but the first book in this series was definitely the best. I feel like the ending of this book was a bit of a cop-out, honestly. But remember how I mentioned that Chesney becomes normal at the end of the second book? Well that bothered me, because Chesney’s high-functioning autism kind of made him fun. Well at least in this book, he learns that sometimes being normal kind of sucks, and that made me happy.

Anyways, this was an okay book but a disappointing end to the series. I wish there was a book just about Xaphan!

Sarah Says: 3 stars



  1. I didn’t mind this one so much, but I agree with the fact that it takes a bizarre direction. I didn’t realise that the series was finishing, so when I got to the end I was all how are they going to get out of that one? I think Hughes could have stretched it out into at least another book, even if that book was just about Xaphan’s antics! More rum and cigars, please!


    1. It went in SUCH a weird way. At the end I was kind of like “Really, that’s the best solution you all could’ve come up with?”

      I would LOVE a whole book of Xaphan. He really was the funnest part of these books.


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