Taboo in Four Colors By Tim McGregor

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    Harkening back to days of old, Tim McGregor’s Taboo in Four Colors brings us to 1972 New York in the comic industry. Wally Carson works as an illustrator, bringing to life the stories of a writer named Salazar, who’s never failed to deliver a story. And then he does, prompting Wally to try to track Salazar down. Discovering Salazar’s beautiful wife Katja, Wally is drawn into a grim underworld of obsession where he is willing to do anything to preserve his career and his standing in Katja’s eyes.

    You can read Zach's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here. Paperback Taboo in Four Colours is a triumph of a book and showcases perfectly the unmistakable talent of McGregor as a raconteur and master of suspense and horror.

    This story read as if I were sitting in a room, a whiskey in hand, listening to a dear friend regale me with a story; you can’t put a price in how comforting that is, when a book is not a chore, when the worlds just comfort the reader. Reading this book conjured the same feeling I get when I settle down to a Stephen King book - and for me there’s nothing better than that feeling.

    McGregor put me at ease, comforted me, thrilled me, scared me and enraptured me all the way through. There is horror here, but there is also love, obsession, lies, deceit, mistakes and a thrilling plot - and McGregor makes us feel each and every emotion to its fullest, with sumptuous prose and clean, precise storytelling.

    I’m also a huge comic book fan (probably geek is a better word for it) and the sections which are sprinkled throughout this tale really work and also listening to the ideas that McGregor conjures as comic books - I think he’s got enough material in this one to write some books from his comic ideas or a short story collection which catalogues them all - he should, he must… because I’d bloody well read them all!

    A great book… and I highly recommend it!

    Paperback I loved this novella so much! Tim McGregor is one of those authors whose prose flows as smooth as silk. Nothing jars, you just pick up his work and ease your way from beginning to end. Yes, there are moments that steal your breath, moments you read over and over to relish the beauty of his phrasing. There are also moments that make your heart race with anticipation, yet nothing ever detracts from the flow.
    I would slot this novella into the horror genre but label it horror-noir. The comic book office setting and MCs voice, as well as the general feel are the reason I say this.
    As usual, McGregor’s characters are fully-fleshed and utterly believable. He makes you feel their pain as well as their pleasure, and always manages to immerse you in their settings without being overly descriptive. That’s talent right there! The romance elements were beautifully done, and the fact that Katja was older than Carson added to it. She wrapped him around her finger and then some.
    The tension builds gradually, and just when I thought I’d guessed the outcome it delivered a blow that proved me wrong.
    I want to avoid spoilers, so I’ll just give a general nod to some of my absolute favorite parts. Firstly the scene with the crows. Here the horror was visceral and very striking. (Keep a look out for the pillowcase scene and you’ll know what I mean.) Another favorite of mine was the horrific but tender scene that talks about how personal an artist’s hands are. I can’t say any more about this without spoilers, but it really made me pause and reflect. In fact, it left me quite emotional.
    Now, I’m not the kind of reader who likes being given everything on a plate. I prefer my endings to leave me with a few questions so that I can imagine my own outcomes and deliberate over the characters’ future for longer. If a book crosses all the T's and dots all the I's it prevents me thinking about it long term. On that front, this one worked beautifully as far as I’m concerned.
    All in all a class act, as always! Don’t miss it! Paperback In a world where indie comic publishers are becoming obsolete and horror comics are shunned, Salazar, a mysterious reclusive comic writer, might be the only thing keeping Capitol Comics out of the gutter.
    New York City, 1972, Carson is a comic book artist who is Salazar’s exclusive pencil and inker. All is not what it seems when writer and artist meet for the first time. Spirits become agitated in this supernatural noir thriller that is both haunting and evocative.
    Will Carson and the writer keep their secrets hidden or will their muse be discovered and bring Capitol Comics crashing down?
    This book gets into some graphic scenes and I really hope Tim had to do lots of research and didn’t know some of this from first hand experience. Paperback Writing up the foreword. I'll post it here soon. Paperback

    New York City, 1972 – Comic book artist, Wally Carson, has been illustrating the stories of a reclusive writer named Salazar without ever having met the man in person. When Salazar suddenly misses his deadlines, Carson is sent to find out what’s happened to the company’s best-selling writer.

    Carson meets resistance from the writer’s wife, but when he insists, he is shocked to find Salazar in a catatonic state. When other artists at the company want to collaborate with the elusive Salazar, Carson realizes he will have to make Salazar disappear—piece by piece, if necessary.

    Don’t read with the lights on…this is My Dark Library.

    My Dark Library is a collection of novellas curated by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann to represent her favorite themes, tropes, and subgenres in horror fiction today. Taboo in Four Colors


    Taboo in Four Colors has a reminiscence of those old films where the damsel in distress would walk into the detective’s office. Then the detective would say, in all the private dick offices in the world, why'd she have to walk into mine? But the damsel in this book doesn't seem fazed by the distress in her world and has a calm and collected view of it, aloof, sexy, and nonchalant.

    This book definitely gave me pulp and noir vibes, but in four colors. NYC 1972, the comic book biz. Wally Carson works for Capitol Comics and has a strange relationship with one of their star writers Hector Salazar. Let's not forget to mention that Salazar is a recluse and no one has seen him in years. But he turns in his work in a timely manner and no one has cared up until the point when he fails to turn in his work. Since Carson has corresponded with him for several years, his boss decides for him that he needs to go see what is going on with Salazar.

    Carson reluctantly goes to the writer's home and is pulled into a weird and uncomfortable situation. At first Salazar's wife won't let Carson see him and after some persistance she relents. When he learns the truth about what is going on with Salazar it puts him on a path that he can't seem to veer from.

    Dark and disturbing, quirky characters that have a strange charm, a situation that spirals down a drain, with dark omens whispering in the ether. The comic book stories within the story are a nice element too. I devoured this novella in two sittings and it would have been one if I hadn't had adulting to do. Paperback Great horror short story. Looking forward to reading more from this author. 4.5 🌟 Paperback Phenomenal!

    Loved this one! Great writing, believable characters, and a thrilling plot. I'm looking forward to reading more of McGregor's work. Highly recommended! Paperback I received this novella to read for review and I’m SO happy I got it. I LOVED it. It kept my attention the entire time and was so dark and mysterious. I loved the setting of it. I’m not a comic book reader and know nothing of that world but this made me want to read one. I love the relationship between Carson and Katja. It’s a very forbidden love story as well. I didn’t see that ending coming and was surprised and pleased with it. I can’t wait for people to read this. It’s a dark and twisted page turner that you won’t be able to put down. Paperback Horror Bookworm Reviews
    Taboo In Four Colors by Tim McGregor

    New York City 1972. Wally Carson is employed by Capital Comics as a pencil & ink illustrator, specifically within the competitive genre of horror comics. Wally’s collaboration with writer Hector Salazar is a match made in comic book heaven. When the long distance correspondence stops, Wally is sent to investigate the missing creator of scary stories. What he finds is a haunting habitat of horrific secret anomalies.

    Author Tim McGregor captures the essence of those spooky comics of yesteryear with dialogue, drafting tables, bullpens and annoying editor-in-chiefs. Scripts, penciling and inks all become intricate elements to this weird story of insane reality. It’s a story of strangers romantic ailments becoming a gruesome burden of taboo love.

    Taboo In Four Colors is appropriately the fourth book in the My Dark Library collection. Packing a pulp style of storytelling with lurid fiction built around suspicion and peculiarities, McGregor writes an intimate, authentic and unguarded manner of pillow talk all the while keeping one finger on the pulse of a multi-layered crime noir.

    Follow the blood-trail of rotting corpses as well as human carnage. If you loved those classic E.C. Comics of days gone by and refused to follow the regulations of the Cosmic Code Authority, you will dig this entertaining publication of dark fiction. Welcome to the spookshow baby! A five star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Horror Bookworm Recommendation. Paperback