Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hell to Pay” as Want to Read:
Hell to Pay
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hell to Pay (To Hell and Back #3)

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  216 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Meet Chesney Arnstruther. Once a mild-mannered insurance actuary, now a full-time crime-fighting superhero, it's all he can do to kick bad-guy ass while at the same time holding down a steady relationship with the gorgeous Melda. Something is going on.

Meet Xaphan, wise-cracking demon and the source of (almost) all of Chesney's powers. He's been asked by his infernal master
ebook, 161 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hell to Pay, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hell to Pay

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 485)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ranting Dragon
Jul 01, 2013 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it
Shelves: dan

Hell to Pay is the third book in the To Hell and Back series by British-Canadian author Matthew Hughes. It continues the story of Chesney Arnstruther and his superhero alter-ego, The Actionary, as he tries to do some good in the world, even if his powers come directly from the pits of Hell.

Christopher Moore meets Kevin Smith
Throughout Hell to Pay, I found myself making many comparisons in my mind to the comedic style of Christopher Moore. Hughes has a cert
Jul 15, 2013 Larry rated it it was amazing

There is something sad inside you when a series comes to end. Some, like Wheel of Time or The Dresden Files, are long series that you’ve followed for many, many, years while others are shorter, trilogies or whatnot, but when you hit the last book you feel that same feeling. The sadness that it’s ending, the joy at the finale and the sorrow that exist as you have to find a way to pick yourself up and move on. Once again I suffer and cheer through a series end as the To Hell and Bac
Mar 22, 2013 Mieneke rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2013
Hell to Pay is the third and as far as I'm aware the final book in the To Hell & Back series mentioned in the above synopsis taken from the Angry Robot site. It returns us to the world of Chesney Arnstruther and company, which I discovered last year with the publication of Costume Not Included , the second book in the series. I was roped into that by the terrific cover, which was a fabulous as this one, but enjoyed it beyond my expectations. Hell to Pay was less surprising, mostly due to my ...more
Ben Babcock
Here we are at the end of the To Hell and Back trilogy. As I said in my Dreams of Gods and Monsters review, a trilogy works best for me if each successive book raises the stakes and widens the scope of its world. By these criteria, Matthew Hughes has succeeded. The first book introduces Chesney Arnstruther, a high-functioning autistic man whose world is mostly numbers until he accidentally summons a demon, incites a strike in Hell, and becomes the Actionary, a superhero. The second book offers i ...more
Todd Mulholland
The end of the Chesney Arnstruther story.

I assume this is the last story about Chesney, the numerary/autistic/super-hero/??? who accidentally made the world fall to pieces (not literally) back in book one.

I can't go into a lot of details about the plot without getting spoilery, but some people recur from previous books, a lot of really weird things happen, and then BAM - it ends, wrapped up by a deus ex deus at the end (not a typo).

This book was strange for me, as the whole series has been. Ther
Jan 19, 2015 Melissa rated it it was ok
I have to say I was disappointed in this final installment of this series. There was more action in this than the previous, and a little more craziness - but while I was invested enough to read through and figure out what was going on, I didn't find it nearly as fun or entertaining. The first book read a little like a toy-train wreck, seeing what chaos might ensue while remaining firmly in the world of fantasy. But I feel like the author at last identified too much with the indifferent supreme b ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Emīls rated it it was ok
The core concept is somewhat curious, however, the writing is a little dull and I sometimes have severe issues with the morality depicted by the clearly heroic protagonist. Of course, sending anyone to Hell seems unforgivable to me (whatever your religious beliefs, at least we can all agree that no human should have that power), and the first PoV character's fate is downright disturbing.

Pass for me, although there is some promise in the premise, maybe if the writing was dark enough to match the
Sep 18, 2015 Lynn rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned, fantasy, horror
Today's post is on Hell to Pay by Matthew Hughes. It is the last in his To Hell and Back series. It is 332 pages long and is published by Angry Robot. The cover is again in comic book panel form with the hero at the top and other scenes from the plot on it. The intended reader is someone who has read the first two. There is some language, talk of sex, and violence in this book. The story is told from the third person close of the characters moving from one to another as the story progresses. The ...more
Jul 20, 2013 Meran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Less religion in this one. So far.

In this third book, and probably the last of the series called To Hell & Back, we get to see a lot more of Hell and how it's run.

In parallel, new Chief of Police Denby is seeing how the city is run by the Twenty, which he plans to take out of power, since they're corrupt to the core.

No longer autistic, Chesney has acquired some new skills. With them, he begins to fight crime in other places, though his contract with Satan says his own city is the only place
Mar 01, 2013 Brent rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how to rate this book. The first two books in the trilogy felt considerably more light-hearted than this one. That's not a complaint against this book. Merely an observation. By comparison to the first two (which, as this is the third book in a trilogy, seems only fair), we saw considerably less of the Actionary. For that matter, we saw considerably less of most of the supporting cast. On the other hand, it felt as though the author had a very specific direction he wanted this story ...more
Lorina Stephens
Feb 24, 2013 Lorina Stephens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this conclusion to Chesney Arnstruther's adventures, author Matthew Hughes take a more philosophical and darker turn to his tale of the autistic actuary turned crime fighter, who is added and abetted in his deeds of good by former Al Capone assistant-now-demon, Xaphan.

Hughes continues the concept God is writing a book and making up the plot as He goes. Along the way we are introduced to Biblical characters who have been written-out, and who have found themselves caught in an equivalent of a
Jason Arnett
Apr 11, 2014 Jason Arnett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful comic book-style book really, really hit a lot of character notes while advancing its plot. The third book in a series, it gave plenty of background and exposition without bogging down. Since I haven't read the other two (and probably won't) it stands by itself very, very well. Hughes did an excellent job of pulling me in without beating me over the head with stuff I needed to know to enjoy the story. Very, very well written. Thoroughly enjoyable and I smiled through most of it. Great ...more
Apr 14, 2013 Justin rated it really liked it
So i just finished what i believe to be the final book in the series, and although i thoroughly enjoyed the last instalment. . . the vibe of this book was distinctly different from the previous 2 books. . . Where the first 2 books had more humor and a bit lighter feel to them, the last book was decidedly darker. . .not to say there was no humor involved just that it was more spaced out. . .As i said although i enjoyed the story i don't see this one as being the best instalment of the three. . . ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
The ending felt incomplete (which may be because there's going to be a 4th book?) and I'm not really sure where he could go from here. I think the story was pretty solid but got a little messy/side tracked when the Chikkichikk got involved.
Aninha Costa
Mar 01, 2015 Aninha Costa rated it did not like it
It started getting on my nerves, but I can't say exactly why... Couldn't finish listening to the audiobook.
Feb 28, 2014 Mister rated it liked it
The trilogy concludes, and looses some steam in the process.
Martin Willoughby
Mar 06, 2014 Martin Willoughby rated it really liked it
A great, and surprising, ending to this trilogy.
Jonathan Crooks
Feb 29, 2016 Jonathan Crooks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Another nice little number.
I enjoyed the first 2 in the series much more than this book. This one had much less comic book-ish superhero adventure and as a result was darker than I would have wanted. After the pace and light-hearted atmosphere of books 1 and 2, I guess I just expected more of the same.
Jon Chaisson
Jan 09, 2014 Jon Chaisson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of an odd (yet fitting) ending to the trilogy, but a lot of fun to read. Definitely going into my keep pile!
Aug 14, 2015 Ken rated it it was ok
Finished a year back, disappointing on the levels of changing the tone from the previous two books (more fun, fast, and free-flowing) and changing drastically the personality of Chesney. The two-stars are only for the originality of the series.
Jan 29, 2014 Gina rated it it was ok
Shelves: could-not-finish
I'm not really a sci-fi fan but a friend really loved it. He said it was perfect to blow through on a lazy weekend.
Dec 09, 2013 Eric rated it it was ok
Let me get this straight... the universe is just a complicated mathematical algorithm? And we are just nodes on a graph? That is so sweet!

Full review here:

Karen Chong
May 02, 2013 Karen Chong rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy, ebook
I liked this one, but I think I should have read the second book before this one. I didn't realize that there was another book between this and the first one, and sometimes felt a bit lost.
David Marshall
Sep 08, 2013 David Marshall rated it really liked it
This is an excellent way of concluding the trilogy.
Jun 12, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, supernatural
Funny and entertaining.
Dec 08, 2014 Keelan rated it did not like it
Just not good.
Keith Fargo
Keith Fargo marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2016
Jesse Vavrek
Jesse Vavrek rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2016
Rachel marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Oglaf Book Two
  • Tall Stories:  Expecting Someone Taller and Ye Gods
  • Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight
  • Age of Aztec
  • The Book of the Dead
  • Rachel Rising, Volume 4: Winter Graves
  • Angel & Faith: What You Want, Not What You Need (Angel & Faith, #5)
  • The Corpse-Rat King
  • Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, Volume 3: Calamari Rising
  • Deadfolk
  • The Lowest Heaven
  • My Goat Ate Its Own Legs: Tales for Adults
  • Dinosaur Tales
  • Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations
  • Dead Bad Things
  • Glorious Nemesis
  • Miss Homicide Plays the Flute
  • Doodling
Born in Liverpool, his family moved to Canada when he was five years old. Married since late 1960s, he has three grown sons. He is currently relocated to Britain. He is a former director of the Federation of British Columbia Writers.

A university drop-out from a working poor background, he worked in a factory that made school desks, drove a grocery delivery truck, was night janitor in a GM dealersh
More about Matthew Hughes...

Other Books in the Series

To Hell and Back (3 books)
  • The Damned Busters
  • Costume Not Included

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »