I read The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner 2 weeks ago and it has infected 70% my dreams since. The odious anti hero is a young man living in scary, pre-Enlightenment Scotland, in the early 18th century. Robert Wringhim is a dour, creepy religious zealot who has been raised to believe by his preacher/guardian that he is one of “God’s elect”, thus can do as he pleases. Roberthas a chance meeting in the woods with a charming and charismatic stranger – Gil-Martin – who convinces Robert that they ought to dispatch anyone who has strayed from the path of righteousness. For murky reasons, Robert really creepily stalks his brother through the dusky streets of Edinburgh. Filled with hatred and self-righteousness, bombastically spouting off randomly, Robert Wringhim feels that his Calvinism justifies any number of crimes, and he embarks upon a series of increasingly horrifying murders without fear of damnation. Is Gil-Martin the Devil, or a figment of Robert Wringhim’s fevered imagination? The powerful and mysterious, potentially demonic companion seems to change his appearance at will, and evil triumphs over good, but then nothing is what it seems in this book, and ultimately everything unravels from the inside, lost in labyrinths of its own madness. A mystery, a horror story, a supernatural parable, a psychological study of a religious fanatic, a thriller, a folk tale of diabolic intervention, a satire on extreme psychological horror story, a novel of stalking, grooming, and serial killing. Whatever it is, it is one of the most upsetting and unsettling books I’ve ever read.