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casey barrett, author, duck darley, swimmer, new york city, book

Under Water: Book One in the Duck Darley Series

Duck Darley should have been a winner. Once a competitive swimmer destined for Olympic gold, he drank away his gilded youth and followed his fraudster father’s footsteps into prison. Barely scraping by as an unlicensed private investigator, Duck now chases down cheating spouses for the same Manhattan elite who once viewed him as equal, drowning bitter memories with whatever fills his glass. 

Duck’s lost glory days resurface when he’s tasked with finding the teenaged sister of a former teammate turned Olympic champion. Privileged Madeline McKay vanished over Labor Day weekend, leaving behind a too-perfect West Village apartment and a promising athletic career of her own. Duck thinks he’s hunting for a self-destructive runaway—until Madeline’s film student ex is savagely murdered, and the media spins her as the psycho who killed him.

As Duck searches for Madeline, he’s plunged back into the dark underbelly of Olympic swimming—a world rife with wild lies and terrible violence. And he soon learns that no matter how hard he tries to escape his past, demons still lurk beneath every surface . . .

Reviews for Under Water

"Here be the beginnings of a superb series. A novel that sparkles with wit, sass, and wonderful narrative style. Charles Willeford is rarely mentioned much these days yet his Hoke Moseley series is among the true classics of the genre. Casey is the rightful heir." — Ken Bruen, author of the Jack Taylor series
"It does for competitive swimming what Megan Abbott did for gymnastics, exposing the poison at the heart of a coach's and a family's need to win." — New York Times bestselling author Andrew Gross
"A sordid tale of murder and sport.  It should be mandatory reading for all thriller aficionados.” — New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry
"Casey Barrett knows the world of swimming as well as almost anyone.  But who knew it could be the source of so much suspense?" — Bob Costas
"An original, smart and sympathetic protagonist. A great debut novel!” — Adrian McKinty, author of the Sean Duffy series
"Duck Darley rivals any detective or PI out there today: a bourbon-drinking, fringe-living antihero you'll find yourself rooting for despite his many flaws." — Charlie Donlea
“Deliciously lascivious and violent... will keep readers captivated to the last page.” — Kyle Mills