Touch the Black: The Life and Death of Squizzy Taylor

Chris Grierson

Touch the Black: The Life and Death of Squizzy Taylor
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Touch the Black: The Life and Death of Squizzy Taylor

Chris Grierson

‘While you live, live in clover. For when you’re dead, you’re dead all over.’ - Squizzy Taylor. Standover man. Armed robber. Sly-grog and drug dealer. Murderer. Long before the Melbourne drug wars, before Carl Williams and Underbelly, there was Squizzy Taylor. A colourful yet ruthlessly violent underworld figure, Squizzy was the mastermind behind countless murders, armed robberies, standover rackets, and sly-grog and drug running operations. He soon became a household name in 1920s Australia through the vicious gang war, the infamous ‘Fitzroy Vendetta’, and later as he courted celebrity and taunted the coppers through the media, while on the run. Touch the Black brings the world of Squizzy Taylor to life, evoking his charm, manipulation, and cold-blooded violence, cloaked in an atmosphere of mystery and cunning. In razor-sharp prose touched with poetry, Chris Grierson uses the voices of the characters involved to brilliantly recreate the events that marked the rise and ultimate fall of one of Australia’s most notorious criminals.

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