The story is about Griffin, a doctor that studies refraction and develops a way to turn the human body invisible. He impulsively uses the machine on himself, but is unable to turn visible again. He lives in a Inn and uses his abilities to steal money to help fund his research.
Griffin has an accomplice named Marvel that betrays him to the police and devises this “reign of terror” on the populous using his abilities. The bulk of the book is about him detailing how he became the invisible man and escaping the police by getting naked and running away. (Sadly, that never seemed to work for me.)
Of course, his evil plot is foiled and he ends up being lynched and killed by a mob of angry townsfolk. I can practically see the torches and pitch forks now. As he dies, the broken and bloody body become visible and we discover his assistant kept copies of his notes i.e. a proper cliffhanger.
Wells grew up in a small town and is probably why he decided to set the story in one instead of a large city. It brings a great view to things and you can get away with more things than in an urban environment.