Book Review: Simon R. Green’s Hell to Pay

Posted September 6, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Simon R. Green’s Hell to Pay

Hell to Pay


Simon R. Green

urban fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by Ace Books on December 26, 2006 and has 264 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Something From the Nightside, Mean Streets, Agents of Light and Darkness, Nightingale's Lament, Paths Not Taken, Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth, Just Another Judgement Day, The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny, A Hard Day's Knight, Hex and the City, The Unnatural Inquirer, The Bride Wore Black Leather, Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Hex Appeal, Man with the Golden Torc, Daemons are Forever, The Spy Who Haunted Me, From Hell with Love, For Heaven's Eyes Only, Live and Let Drood, Casino Infernale, Blue Moon Rising, Tales of the Hidden World, Blood and Honor, From a Drood to a Kill, The Dark Side of the Road, Dead Man Walking, Very Important Corpses, Moonbreaker, Dr. DOA

Seventh in the Nightside dark urban fantasy series for young adults revolving around the infamous John Taylor, scourge of evil and anyone else who just plain pisses him off.

My Take

It’s always a fun romp through the Nightside with JT with Green’s imagination running rampant as he skewers society and rips apart parenting skills…or the lack thereof.

I do love Dead Boy’s car…I want one! Then there’s this church over on the Street of the Gods, the Temple of Saint Einstein where “It’s all relative”. I love the blatant parody of religious groups with the “old-style Prophet” yelling that “Money is the source of all evil!…[with] Wealth is a burden on the soul! So save yourself from its taint by giving it all to me! I am strong; I can bear the burden!…” Sound familiar…??

I do look forward to the next installment, The Unnatural Inquirer, 8, to find out what’s gonna happen to Walker..!

The Story

John Taylor is hired to find the designated heir to the Griffin empire kidnapped shortly after the Griffin made a new will designating young Melissa as his sole heir, cutting out the rest of the family.

Unfortunately, JT is hampered in his search as some big bad is thwarting the use of his Third Eye. The Eye he uses to Find whatever is missing. Damn, now JT will have find Melissa the old-fashioned way…ask questions and deduce. So saying, JT wends his way through the Nightside taking us on a tour of its many interesting clubs and hangouts to find the various family members in their public and not-so-public pursuits and learning their side of life in the Griffin manse.

It’s a corkscrew of adventures and unfortunate deaths until the last when a saintly Hand of Glory takes us to the final clue.

The Characters

The Regular Cast of…
…the Nightside, where “you can find anything here if it doesn’t find you first. Buyer beware…”

When John Taylor appears, everyone knows to duck and find cover. Security cops have it in their contracts that if JT appears, they can run. For after John’s actions in the War of Lilith, no one wants to go up against John, well, almost no one.

Suzie Shooter is now JT’s girlfriend…and we see very little of her in this story. Dead Boy is such a handy ally. Reliable as a human shield and as a distraction at parties…since he has absolutely no manners at all. Walker is now the supreme voice in the Nightside since the Authorities were all killed in Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth, 6.

The characters in Hell to Pay include…
Jeremiah Griffin who did a deal with the Devil for immortality. Alive for centuries, his wife, Mariah, and any children will be immortal as long as he lives. His grandchildren will be mere mortals. Melissa is the not-yet-18-year-old heir to the Griffin Empire and William and Gloria‘s daughter. Paul is Melissa’s cousin, Eleanor’s son, and terrified for his life even as he enjoys and spreads the joy of his secret life. Eleanor is Jeremiah’s daughter and currently spends her time faffing about enjoying her money and rescuing her husband, Marcel, from his various gambling debts. William is Jeremiah’s son and incredibly miserable in his life spending most of his time in Arcadia…must be heaven. His wife, Gloria, is fed up with her nonentity of a life in the Griffin household and spends most of her time at the Caligula Club where she can boss wealthy men around. Hobbes is the starched up, stuffy, very imperturbable butler for the Griffins.

The Salvation Army Sisterhood (SAS) are “hard-core Christian terrorists” who gets things done whoever hires them. Sister Josephine seems to be in charge. With her saintly Hand of Glory.

The Cover and Title

I have no idea what the cover refers to with the curly-maned, trench coat-clad woman wandering around the cemetery and its tombstones with a city skyline in the background. She is highlit with a bright yellow light in a radial gradient darkening down to a deep brown. As for the title, Hell to Pay. Oh yeah. There is indeed a debt that needs paying!