The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
by James Hogg
Guardian 1000 Novels
The structure of this novel is odd. The titular "memoirs and confessions" is presented as a document within the story, published a third of the way through the novel. The preceding third has a somewhat comical air, mocking the stern religious scruples of Reverend Wringhim and his ward Robert. For the most part, that section contains the story of Robert's brother George, but when George is murdered the tone shifts abruptly and it becomes a horror story told from Robert's perspective. Like in The Turn of the Screw, Hogg never spells out the nature of the supernatural evil and leaves the reader to wonder whether Gil-Martin is real or a figment of Robert's imagination.