The Tower of Songs (A Duck Darley Novel) by Casey Barrett


source: free review copy courtesy of BookTrip / Meryl Moss Media
title: The Tower of Songs (A Duck Darley Novel)
author: Casey Barrett
published: 2019
genre: crime thriller
pages: 326
first line: Danny Soto opened the door to find Mr. Sun flanked by a pair of female bodyguards.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars

Embracing an improbable stretch of sobriety, unlicensed P.I. Duck Darley has proven himself stronger than the temptations that loom in the shadows of New York City. But the familiar pull of self-destruction lingers like garbage in July when Layla Soto, a sharp-tongued Park Avenue teenager with a family as screwed up as his own, presents a twisted missing-persons case he can’t refuse . . .

Layla saw video evidence of her billionaire father being abducted from their home—at the top of the tallest residential tower on earth. She suspects her grandmother, a Chinese social climber on husband number three, orchestrated the act to silence her only son. Duck agrees to investigate the hedge funder’s disappearance, if only for the rush of a new thrill—and an excuse to reconcile with Cass Kimball, his leather-clad sometime partner who nearly got him killed . . .

As the unlikely duo become immersed in a high-stakes ransom linked to the international drug trade and the delicate relations between the two most powerful nations on earth, survival means trusting no one. Because when confronting absolute power, certain forces will stop at nothing to bury the truth.

my thoughts:
The Tower of Songs is book 3 in author Casey Barrett’s Duck Darley series but this thrilling book reads fine as a stand alone.

As the story starts off we witness billionaire Danny Soto being abducted. Fast forward to his teenage daughter Layla and her mom hiring private detective Duck Darley to find her missing father. They have video of Danny Soto being abducted from their penthouse in Manhattan. Layla tells Duck she suspects her grandmother Nai Nai is involved. Nai Nai is the mysterious matriarch of the family and she is well connected.

Private eye Duck Darley is a force to be reckoned with honestly. I enjoyed following alongside him as he tried to find Soto while battling his own demons since he is a recovering addict.
He mentions his former partner and close friend Cassandra Kimball and I was hoping she’d make an appearance in this book, which she does when she helps Duck on the case.

“There had been a time when I considered her my closest friend. She knew more about me than anyone else. She was my confessor, my protector. The one person I trusted above all. That is, until she lied to me, used me, and let me down.” -p. 22, The Tower of Songs (A Duck Darley Novel) by Casey Barrett

I really enjoyed the writing throughout and the NYC setting. The book takes us from NYC Manhattan to Long Beach Island and the author’s descriptive writing easily transported me to these settings.

“Rooms seemed to wind and turn and unfold on each other in a dizzying succession. Out each window, a different postcard view, of the Atlantic, the rolling dunes, and the bay. The house had been designed for moments of contemplation, before the distractions of technology stole our attention away from natural beauty.” -p. 202, The Tower of Songs

As the story flows Layla, her mom Nicole and her grandmother Nai Nai are all involved in finding the missing Danny Soto and soon enough all of their lives are in danger. Duck has Cassandra’s help as well on the case.

I enjoyed the fast pace of the story as it twisted and turned. I didn’t know if Nai Nai was involved in her son’s disappearance or if it was the wife Nicole or who else was behind it. The ending wraps up nicely but also leaves it wide open for the next installment and there was a surprise at the end that I did not see coming. Although this installment reads well as a stand alone I think reading the first book would be helpful in getting a more in depth knowledge of Duck’s background story.

“This was where the city first came into being, as a port town positioned with perfection within a protected harbor, alongside a river that stretched over three hundred miles north, ending in the Adirondacks at Lake Tear of the Cloud. This city didn’t need Henry Hudson to “discover” it; its future greatness was preordained by its geography.” -p. 293, The Tower of Songs

About the author:
Casey Barrett is a crime novelist, Canadian Olympian, and the co-founder and co-CEO of Imagine Swimming, New York City’s largest learn-to-swim school. He is the author of the Shamus-nominated Duck Darley series, set in present-day Manhattan, featuring the fallen rich kid, convicted felon, turned unlicensed private investigator, Lawrence Darley, Jr., son of a Madoff-esque fraudster father. He is conflicted and less than sober.

Casey has won three Emmy awards and one Peabody award for his work on NBC’s broadcasts of the Olympic Games. He was the author of the popular swimming blog, Cap & Goggles, and was a regular contributor to the Village Voice. His work has also appeared in GQ, Rolling Stone, and Swimming World magazine.-quoted from

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My free review copy of The Tower of Songs (A Duck Darley Novel) by Casey Barrett was courtesy of BookTrip / Meryl Moss Media. Some of these links are affiliate links.

8 thoughts on “The Tower of Songs (A Duck Darley Novel) by Casey Barrett

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