THE WAY INN is played out in the anonymous and bizarre lobbies, corridors and concourses in which modern business life takes place. The ‘Way Inn’ of the title is a global chain of identikit mid-budget hotels, and Neil Double, the novel’s protagonist, is a valued member of its loyalty scheme. Neil is a professional conference-goer, a man who will attend trade fairs, expos and conventions so you don't have to. It's a life of budget travel, inexpensive suits and out-of-town exhibition centres. This would be hell for most people, but it’s a kind of paradise for Neil, who has turned his incognito professional life into a toxic and selfish personal philosophy.
But Neil is about to change – not least because he finds himself, for the first time in his adult life, willing himself to engage with somebody of the opposite sex as a human being rather than as a one-night sexual fling. In a brand new Way Inn in an airport hinterland, he meets a woman – a woman he has seen before in bizarre and unsettling circumstances. She hints at being in possession of an astonishing truth about this mundane world. And then she disappears. Fascinated, and with his professional and personal life unravelling, Neil tries to find the woman again. In doing so he is drawn into the appalling secret that lurks behind the fake smiles and muzak of the hotel…