Last but not least is Robert W. Chambers's book of short stories The King in Yellow, first published in 1895. It is a classic work of "weird fiction," 10 short stories that all revolve around the supernatural and the occult. The most important aspect of this book to remember in relation to True Detective is its reference to The King in Yellow, found referenced throughout the first four stories in the book.
In Chambers's book, The King in Yellow is a play forbidden to be read or performed due to the fact that it induces madness to all who read it beyond its first act. The King in Yellow, possibly a supernatural being, is from the city of Carcosa, a place whose exact location is not known. However, references are made to the "Hyades" in the first act of the play, so it can be assumed that The King in Yellow and Carcosa are alien to earth, cosmic in origin.
In Episode 2 of True Detective, Cohle finds a journal that directly references the "Yellow King" and the city of Carcosa, and it also contains drawings of black stars. Black stars are a prevalent symbol throughout the show, appearing as a tattoo on one of victim Dora Lange's friends and, in Episode 5, drawn on a window, framing Cohle right in the middle of them.