Casey Barrett

Crime Fiction

Olympic-swimmer-turned-thriller-author via PI Duck Darley scraping by and chasing down cheating spouses for Manhattan’s elite.

Casey Barrett is the author of the Duck Darley crime series. His debut, UNDER WATER, was nominated for a Shamus Award in 2018. He is a Canadian Olympic swimmer and is the co-founder of Imagine Swimming, New York City’s largest learn-to-swim school. He has won three Emmys and one Peabody award for his work on NBC’s broadcasts of the Olympic Games. Casey lives in Manhattan and the Catskill mountains of New York with his wife, daughter, and dog.

Read BookTrib’s reviews of Casey’s books, Against Nature and Tower of Songs.

Visit his website at

Under Water (2017)

Against Nature (2018)

The Tower of Songs (2019)

Biggest literary influencers:

Ross MacDonald, Hunter S. Thompson, John D. MacDonald, Benjamin Black, Ken Bruen, James Lee Burke, Lawrence Durrell and many more.

Last book read:

In the Galway Silence, by Ken Bruen

The book that changed your life:

Justine by Lawrence Durrell. It was the most powerful reading experience of my life, and the most underlined book I own. While reading it, I felt a physical need to be in contact with it at all times.

It traveled to my hands or  pocket or bedside, but the book was always close. The back cover of the paperback cites a “near religious devotion” that this book provokes in certain readers. That’s the best way to describe it. It was like a spell being cast.

Your favorite literary character:

Travis McGee. John D. MacDonald’s “knight errant and salvage consultant,” living aboard The Busted Flush… The perfect series character. If I could pick one literary character to have a beer with, or to be, it would have to be the McGee.

Currently working on:

My first standalone thriller.

Words to live by:

Don’t Look Back – Bob Dylan

Advice to new and aspiring authors:

READ. Endlessly, always.

Articles and Reviews:

Bibliophile Book Club

The Suspense is Thrilling Me

The Star


“Now and again a debut novel comes along that blows you out of the water. Charles Willeford is rarely mentioned much these days, yet his Hoke Moseley series is among the classics of the genre. Casey is the rightful heir. The book sings in its sheer narrative momentum.”

—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. 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

“Barrett’s first-person narrative has a music of its own, and his alcoholic hero, just two drinks away from seeking his next fix, is appealingly vulnerable.”

–Kirkus Reviews