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, and 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 . . .
"Now and again a debut novel comes along that blows you out of the water. A novel that sparkles with wit, sass, and wonderful narrative style. The book sings in its sheer narrative momentum. Here be the beginnings of a superb series." --Ken Bruen, author of the Jack Taylor series
"Casey Barrett should find himself in the big pool of crime writers with this deftly conceived, crisply written debut. Slick and brash, with a little New York hip thrown in, 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
“Casey Barrett, an ex-Olympian, knows what he’s writing about in this sordid tale of murder and sport. This one has it all: mystery, suspense, secrets, and a longing for new adventure. It should be mandatory reading for all thriller aficionados.”—New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry
“ I loved it. Duck Darley is an original, smart and sympathetic protagonist, the central mystery was really well thought through, the story gripping and the ending terrific. A great debut novel!”—Adrian McKinty, author of the Sean Duffy series
"Barrett has created a series character in Duck Darley that rivals any detective or PI out there today: a bourbon-drinking, fringe-living antihero you'll find yourself rooting for despite his many flaws. I'm addicted..."—Charlie Donlea
“Deliciously lascivious and violent, Under Water’s hero is impossible not to cheer on. The pull of his dark world will keep readers captivated to the last page.”—Kyle Mills