I love the geographical exactitude. Wells pedalled round the Home Counties on his bicycle scouting locations.
Take that, Woking!
Our narrator is a gentle, respectable, scholarly type- a model English gentleman of the kind we expect to front a late Victorian adventure story- but put him in a hole- where the rules of civilised behaviour no longer apply- and he turns into a beast- and ill-treats and murders his weaker companion. Wells pulls a similar trick in Tono-Bungay.
I first read this in my early teens. It disturbed the fuck out of me. I could take Dostoevsky; I couldn't take Wells. I now see why.