Number of pages: 352
Neil Double is a "conference surrogate", who attends conferences on behalf of others who don't want to. In this book, he attends a conference at the titular "Way Inn", which happens to be for conference organisers, and there is evidence that he is angering the people in charge by making a mockery of their system by filling in for a real attendee.
The book also opens with several moments where Neil finds the keycard to his room isn't working and he has to get it fixed, which seems to be a common problem with keycards based on my own experience.
So far, this sounds like a great satirical novel, but there is more to this book than there first seems.
First off, there is the appearance of a strange red-headed woman, who he has so far only seen in his dreams, and when he starts looking for her, things start getting really weird.
It turns out that the hotel is not quite as normal as it first seemed, and he finds himself running through an increasingly complex maze of corridors, and there are elements that seem to defy the laws of physics. He even starts to believe that there is another room with the same number of his.
After Neil meets the red-haired woman and the hotel's mysterious manager, the novel gradually moves into horror territory, as the hotel becomes increasingly sinister. Without giving too much away, the plot becomes increasingly surreal and outlandish, but I found the entire story compelling, with Double's first-person narration.
I like the fact that it looks like a story where you can see where the plot is headed, and then it does something completely unexpected, and I liked the occasional bursts of humour throughout - for example, Neil telling the increasingly scary manager that the hotel will get 1 star on Trip Advisor.
Overall, I enjoyed this book; it felt like something that could have come from the pen of Neil Gaiman, or even Stephen King. I sensed that the book was referencing The Shining - though I wrongly thought that Double's room number - 219 was a homage to this book (the correct room number is 217). I did have to occasionally go back a few pages at times near the end when the plot got really bizarre, just to check if I'd read something correctly, but most of the book was easy to read. I am unfamiliar with Will Wiles, but am interested in reading more of his work.
Next book: Ten Boom: Betsie, Promise of God (Mike Evans)