Hell To Pay

by: Matthew Hughes


The Actionary: To Be or Not To Be?
The epic conclusion to the brilliant To Hell and Back series – a trilogy that does for autism what
Flowers for Algernon did for intellectual disability

“Hughes continues to carve out a unique place for himself in the fantasy-mystery realm.
A droll narrative voice, dry humor and an alternative universe that’s accessible without exposition make this a winner.”
Publishers Weekly

File Under: Fantasy [ The Better Book | Talk the Dinosaur | Scam Busters | Bring Me Barabbas! ]

The third book in the wondrous To Hell & Back series


Being a crime-fighting superhero with a demon sidekick is not as much fun as Chesney Arnstruther thought it would be. Nor is having his autism “healed” by the historical Jesus. To make things worse, he’s zeroing in on the metaphysical truths behind the notion that reality is a book constantly being rewritten by a deity exploring the nature of good and evil. Satan and the Messiah are holed up in Eden writing fresh chapters, and Chesney’s quest takes him to ancient Babylon and Rome, and into a deep-past encounter with a tribe of God-worshipping dinosaurs. It all leads Chesney toward a choice that no superhero should have to make…
Publication date



Angry Robot Books


Angry Robot


To Hell and Back

Cover Art

Tom Gauld ; http://tomgauld.com/

Hell To Pay

Paperback, Ebook

Paperback ISBN




The name I answer to is Matt Hughes. I write fantasy and suspense fiction. To keep the two genres separate, I now use my full name, Matthew Hughes, for fantasy, and the shorter form for the crime stuff. I was born sixty years ago in Liverpool, England, but my family moved to Canada when I was five. I've made my living as a writer all of my adult life, first as a journalist, then as a staff speechwriter to the Canadian Ministers of Justice and Environment, and - from 1979 until a few years back - as a freelance corporate and political speechwriter in British Columbia. I am a former director of the Federation of British Columbia Writers and I used to belong to Mensa Canada, but these days I'm conserving my energies to write fiction. I'm a university drop-out from a working poor background. Before getting into newspapers, I worked in a factory that made school desks, drove a grocery delivery truck, was night janitor in a GM dealership, and did a short stint as an orderly in a private mental hospital. As a teenager, I served a year as a volunteer with the Company of Young Canadians (something like VISTA in the US). I've been married to a very patient woman since the late 1960s, and I have three grown sons. I have of late taken up the secondary occupation of housesitter, so that I can afford to keep on writing fiction yet still eat every day. These days, I'm in Northern Ireland but any snail-mail address of mine must be considered temporary. I'm always interested to hear from people who've read my work.

“I love it when an author reveals that there’s been a bigger story behind the individual books’ plots. Hughes never hid this, but each new book shows new layers and tie them all together.”
– Annie Smith, Summer Reading Project

“The first book in the series was very good, the second was better. The events of those books were leading up to this final volume in the trilogy and it’s the best yet.”
– Dave Brzeski for The British Fantasy Society

“A highly enjoyable read, with some interesting philosophical underpinnings and surprising twists. The book makes for a satisfying ending to the To Hell & Back series, which gave us a quirky, off-beat story about an unlikely super hero, with unexpected depths.”
– Mieneke vam der Salm, A Fantastical Librarian

“Those who read the first two books from this Canadian author will jump on the third one but for those of you looking for something original and amazing to read that looks at everything we are and twists it – give To Hell and Back a shot.”
Tome of Geek

“This final volume builds up to a pleasing metafictional climax in an alternate universe where God was trying out a different approach before our current reality. It’s great fun.”
– David Marshall, Thinking About Books

“I adored this book. It was darker and more serious than I expected but not without taking away from what I loved.”
Don’t Panic

You may also like…