Cover Image: Buried


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Member Reviews

Throughout the whole book there is action and always something happening. There isn't a dull moment in the book, the twists and turns keep coming, which made me not want to put it down and keep reading. I really enjoyed this mystery and the ending left me wanting more Sayer. The ending was unexpected and the psychological aspects of it all made me love this book even more. If you're looking for a good psychological mystey
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2019; Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press

Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair is back and the FBI is in hot water. Due to their last case the "Cage Killer" case, the FBI is being investigated and Holt is busy trying to keep things together. As most agents are tied up in the investigations, and Holt attending the meetings, Sayer is sent back out early in the field. An off-duty FBI agent and his cadaver dog fall into a sinkhole filled with human bones. It is tied to an cold case, but suddenly discover that two "newer" bodies are found. Turns out that the two cases may be connected. I liked book two better than the first novel, but did find it hard to connect to characters at time. I enjoyed the story but it dragged at times. I am looking forward to the third book coming out in the summer.

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
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Buried by Ellison Cooper is an intense and gritty mystery.  If you have not read Caged, you will not be lost.  The author provides background information on Sayer Altair and a summary of what occurred in Caged.  I believe, though, that it would be a better reading experience if the series is read in order.  Sayer Altair is an FBI neuroscientist who studies serial killers’ brains when not in the field.  She has been benched after what happened in Caged, and this new case is her first time back in the field.  Max Cho is enjoying a day off hiking when Kana alerts to the presence of a cadaver.  A wrong step has Max falling into a cavern full of skeletons.  Sayer along with forensic anthropologist, Dana Wilbanks find two fresh victims after a harrowing encounter.  There is plenty of action in Buried as Sayer and the team search for the killer who recently kidnapped a woman and her little girl.  The authors vivid descriptions allowed me to visualize the grisly scene Max found in that cave.   It was interesting to see things from Sayer’s perspective.  I liked that the mystery was complex with one exception.  There are a number of victims over two decades.  The one downfall of Buried is that I could solve the whodunit before I was a quarter of a way through the book.  I prefer a mystery that scatters the clues throughout the book with surprising twists, so I am kept guessing.  Sayer is still investigating the death of her fiancé, Jake.  She has a feeling that what is in the case file is not the true story.  Plus, there still might be repercussions from the case in Caged.  Buried does contain graphic violence and foul language (these two things seem to par for the course with chilling crime novels).  Buried is a psychological thriller with curious clues, a variety of victims, irksome incidents, a pathological predator, and colossal changes.
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FBI agent and neuroscientist Sayer Altair studies the brains of psychopaths to find out why some become killers.
She discovers one in the FBI as she reveals corruption in the agency. It leads to her getting shot, thought the offender is now incarcerated.
Her first assignment since her recovery, she is called to Shenandoah National Park, where bones have been found by an off duty agent. They date back almost 20 years ago, but the remains of two bodies are also located, they were killed recently.
The clues they find, tie them to the current disappearance of a mother and her young daughter. Sayer is fiercely determined to find them before they are murdered too. But the killer threatens their investigation, keeping one step ahead of them.
This dark, twisty thriller is filled with action and definitely kept my interest.
Sayer is a strong character, but she doesn't seem to have much humor, she's a little stiff. I would like to see her open up and become more human.
I am excited for this series, it is a good one. Though this is an excellent stand alone, reading it in order will help with background information and character development.
I'm going back and reading Caged and I look forward to the next one in the series.
Thank you to St. Martin's Publishing Group for the e-ARC via NetGalley.
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I read this author's first book, Caged, and loved it!  I had to read this book also, and it didn't disappoint.  It is another great psychological thriller, and I can't wait to read the author's next book.  I have recommended this book to two local libraries for purchase so that other people can read it and enjoy it as much as I do.
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Thank you Netgalley for providing me with this ARC of Buried, but Ellison Cooper.

Slowly recovering from the trauma of a gunshot wound being double crossed by a fellow officer, Alistair Sayer is easing back into the field with desk duty.  But when an FBI agent and his cadaver dog stumble on human remains while jogging, she is anxious to get back in the field, especially considering the utter bizarreness of the case.  While there are remains that are as old as twenty years discovered in a National Park sinkhole, there are also remains that are only two weeks old.  

Through Sayer's work as a scientist researching the minds of psychopaths and sociopaths, she works to uncover who has been responsible for these shocking and horrific crimes.

I enjoyed this one as thoroughly as I enjoyed Cooper's first one.  The character development is strong, the story telling is coherent and solid, and I'll forever be a sucker for a cop thriller.
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I loved this book. It kept me turning pages throughout the entire thing, racing to the end. I would reccomend this to anyone who enjoys mysteries
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I recommend this book for people who like  mysteries.   The part that intrigued me the most  was the mystery  man who advised her  on the case.  I  have a feeling that he's going to play a  big role in the next  novel in the series.
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It is an action packed follow up to caged so if you have not read cage they highly recommend you read it first or you will be confused about storylines
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Another good psychological thriller/mystery from Ellison Cooper. This is the second book in the series, again featuring Sayer Altair, a strong, determined female FBI agent, on the trail of a psychopathic serial killer. Women are being kidnapped and forced to kill one another in order to save their children. The action takes place in the Shenandoah National Park, much of it in hidden subterranean caverns. Lots of twists, action, and darn right creepiness!
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In this sequel to Caged, FBI agent Sayer Altair returns in another suspense filled thriller. Lots of twists and turns made this a successful follow up to his previous book, one of my favorites last summer.  I can’t wait for the next entry. Fans of Thomas Harris will enjoy this author.
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An excellent story of the investigative team first introduced in CAGED, the first book of this series.  Ellison Cooper has developed his stories so well that I feel like I'm watching an episode of Mindhunter.  The books will capture your interest on page 1 and keep you reading long until you reach the breathless end where all you'll be able to do is rub your tired eyes and say WOW!
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I thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book. This author was new to me and I was not let down. It was a great story and very well written. The characters were easy to relate to and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend this to everyone!!
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Summary from Goodreads:

"Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair studies the minds of psychopaths. But even she didn't expect to uncover a killer within the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Rooting him out and exposing internal corruption got her a bullet wound and six months of desk duty. Now, she's finally back in the field, called in when an off-duty FBI agent and his cadaver dog fall into a sinkhole filled with human bones.

Found deep in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, the skeletal remains date back almost two decades, the same time a beloved local teen disappeared. The cold case quickly heats up when Sayer's team finds two fresh corpses among the bones. When a gruesome clue ties these new bodies to a woman recently kidnapped along with her young daughter, Sayer has to uncover the connection between the old bones and the new bodies before the mother and child become the next victims.

But the killer is one step ahead, attacking her team and sabotaging their efforts. With Sayer's investigation compromised and unsure of who to trust, she receives unwanted help from Subject 037, one of the anonymous psychopaths she is currently studying. She has the chilling realization that he's someone powerful in Washington D.C.--and he is not about to let a mundane serial killer jeopardize his own ominous agenda for Sayer... "

My Thoughts:

This book was so phenomenally good!  Wow, wow, and just wow!  For me, there is nothing better then a book that starts with a bang and never lets up.  This book had me reading so fast and I was so completely engrossed that I was tempted to skip ahead just to see what was going to happen.  Thank goodness for the short chapters or I wouldn't have been able to resist.  Last year I read and adored the first book in this series titled Caged.  It was actually a five star read for me so that should tell you all that you need to know!  This book was just as good and has me absolutely pining for the third book in this series.  What makes this book (and series) stand out for me though is the characters and the attachments that I've formed to them.  I don't say this often but I do think that you need to read this series in order to get the full experience.  There is a lot that comes into play from book one that carries over into this book (for example a story line that we will hopefully get more answers on in the next book).  All of that is to say that you should probably read these in order for the best reading experience.  The characters in this series though are just all so great!  Sayer is one of those great characters that you cannot help but root for.  She is still struggling with events from the previous book (trying not to share spoilers here) and is thrown into a brand new case where there are lots of questions but not very many answers.  I loved that in this book the author wasn't afraid to completely pull the rug from under my feet multiple times.  I would be just going along reading when out of nowhere something completely unexpected but compelling would happen that had me reading at a frantic pace yet again.  I blew through this book in a matter of days because I just HAD to see what was going to happen next.  Even when I started to suspect the killer, I thought that I was wrong and off base until the very end.  I also really, really love the storyline relating to what is going on at the FBI and what really happened to Sayer's fiancé Jake.  This book added in an unknown character that also has me very, very intrigued.  It is going to be a very long wait for the next book in this series!

Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and cannot say enough good things about this series.  I am so loving the fact that I have been finding these great mystery series with female leads - I cannot get enough of them!  This is honestly another five star read for me so this author is two for two which is pretty darn impressive!  I feel like I've been mostly gushing over this book but it deserves it.  A book that is thrilling, keeps you guessing, and has an original mystery with great characters is my version of perfection.  I really hope that more readers find this series because it is well worth your time.  I would recommend this book to fans of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense.  Highly, highly recommend this series but start with that first book if you can!

Bottom Line:  A five star read for me - that should tell you all that you need to know!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.
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Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange of an honest review. 
Superb read!! Honestly could not put this one down!  Hope there are more books with this main character.
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I really, really liked this book, much more than Caged, the first book in the series. This second installment was more cohesive and easier to follow, despite an equally complex plot. The characters who continued from the first book have evolved and, in dealing with momentous life challenges, revealed depth and inner strength.

In this outing, FBI Senior Special Agent is dispatched to a national forest in Virginia to investigate an old body dump, containing skeletons dating back nearly two decades. Two recently-murdered victims are also discovered at the dump site, a cave – and DNA evidence links them to two recent kidnap victims. PLUS – there’s an unsolved disappearance of a young woman 17 years earlier, and her brother is the local chief of police.

Ellison skillfully choreographs the people and events. There is unremitting suspense, with a strong emphasis on forensic science (especially since the agent, Sayer Altair, has recently learned that her intuition about serial killers is not entirely reliable.)

The characters, both those who were carryovers from Book 1 and those newly introduced -- were fully delineated and believable, with one exception. Since these intertangled cases are very media-worthy, and since the FBI is embroiled in a very public scandal, the press shows up fairly often in the book.

And that’s why my personal rating of Buried is only a “3.” Ellison didn’t get the tone right when it came to the press. Reporters were dastardly bad-guy caricatures, who made on-air statements that would never come out of the mouth of anyone who’d been to journalism school and was doing straight reporting (cable commentators, maybe – but that’s not how this was repeatedly portrayed.) Neither their dialogue, nor their official statements, rang true. It was just background stuff in the book, but it still seemed like cheesy stereotype.

If that small but repetitive thread woven throughout the book wouldn’t bother you, then I say – top-notch thriller!

Thanks to NetGalley, St. Martins Press, and Minotaur Books for an advance readers copy.
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just like Caged the prior /first book in the series- set time aside once you start it because you won't want to put this face paced thriller down. and i do seriously recommend reading Caged first for various reasons that I won't go into (spoilers and all that LOL ) in other words there's reason this is labeled as #2.

Sayer is a strong smart heroine - and a trustworthy narrator. I really enjoyed Max and Kona too 

there are some darker themes here involving children that may be too intense for some.
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It's been six months since Sayer Altair discovered a prolific serial killer inside the FBI. She's still dealing with the fallout--including Congressional hearings and independent counsel combing through hundreds of past cases. Her boss, Assistant Director Janice Holt, is testifying at Capitol Hill. Sayer, a neurobiologist with FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, has been recovering from her injuries from her previous case and working on her research of serial killer brains, when Holt calls. Max Cho, an off-duty FBI agent and his Human Remains Detection dog, found a cave full of bodies in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The FBI is thin on agents during the hearings and investigations and Sayer is called back to duty. Her "team" is slight--Max; Piper, a park ranger; Kyle, the local sheriff; Ezra, our beloved IT whiz; and Dana, a FBI medical examiner just back from overseas. Together they set up shop in the National Park and investigate the gruesome scene. Before they know it, they are being attacked by the presumed killer--and they quickly have two fresh bodies dumped on their crime scene. Even worse, one of Sayer's research subjects starts meddling in her case, and she quickly realizes this supposed psychopath is a high-ranking Washington official. Can Sayer solve these cases in time, or will she lose her job during the craziness that's happening in Washington?

This book gets started with a bang, as Max and Kona find a cave full of skeletons. Sayer and Dana are attacked as they investigate the new findings, and things never slow down from there. Sayer is the same tough cookie from the first book--driving her motorcycle around and taking no prisoners. Luckily, she's at least found a bit of family now and she seems to be maturing. It was nice to see her make some personal strides.

"The only benefit to being on TV was that at least no one was surprised anymore when the FBI agent turned out to be a thirty-something brown-skinned woman."

There is a ton of stuff happening in this book, but Cooper handles it all really well. The cave full of skeletons, two more fresh bodies, the hearings and their impact on the FBI/Sayer's career, her research and one of her subjects meddling in her career, her personal investigation into the death of her late fiance, Jake, also an agent... It's definitely a lot, but all the threads work together. This is shaping up to be a really good series. I enjoyed this book more than the first, even. The writing is stronger, Sayer's character is tightening up, and while the case is resolved at the end, there are loose ends that lead me to hope there is a book three coming.

"She hated that she even thought it, but she'd learned the hard way not to trust anyone, not even her own coworkers at the FBI."

Sayer is a great character--complex, intelligent, and tough. She dives right in to any challenge, and her team is loyal to her because of it. Which is good, because man, does trouble follow this woman! They are attacked constantly! They also see a lot of gruesome things. You'll need to be the type who enjoys a good twisted, dark mystery. This is no light and fluffy thriller. But Cooper clearly knows her stuff--police procedures, DNA, psychology, and more. It makes for a really good read.

I especially enjoyed the local angle for this one. It's practically set in my backyard, and I actually read portions of the book where they were occurring, at the University of Virginia campus and such. It's always fun to read about places you actually know. (Maybe not so fun when people are being abducted from there, but...)

Overall, I really enjoyed this mystery. It features a strong main (female!) character in Sayer, a great twisted story that keeps you guessing, and the true star of the show, Kona, the cadaver dog, whom I adored. Definitely recommend! You can read this as part of the series or a standalone. 4+ stars.
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4.5/5! Rouding up!

After an intense case that left her with a bullet wound, Agent Sayer Altair has been spending the past six months on desk duty. During her time away from the field she has focused on her research into the minds of psychopaths. Interrupting this research is a new case that has just been assigned to Sayer. An off-duty FBI agent, Max Cho, and his cadaver dog have fallen into a sinkhole filled with human bones. This seems like a cold case that will be a great way for Sayer to ease herself back into the field, but the agent quickly finds there are many more secrets buried here.

The remains we found deep in the woods of Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park in an isolated area with little foot traffic. It seems the bones date back several decades, which supports the initial cold case assumptions. When two fresh corpses are found, Sayer and her team are unsure what they have on their hands. Is this all coincidence? Two killers leaving bodies in the same spot? Or has a killer returned after a hiatus?

Earlier this month I read the first book in the Agent Sayer Altair series, CAGED, and not only fell in love with Ellison Cooper’s writing, but also with our main character, Sayer. Being a long time fan of FBI procedural shows like Criminal Minds, this series has truly become the perfect fit. The cases are out of the box and the cast of characters are all ones you want to bond with even if it’s your first time meeting them.

This book picks up a few months after the first and drops the reader right back into Sayer’s life. You can instantly feel the apprehension Sayer has about returning to the field, as well as the doubts she has over her injuries. Cooper makes sure that Sayer is not a one-dimensional character by allowing the reader into her mind and her thought processes. Sayer’s ultimate likeability also helps to solidify that bond between reader and main character.

The case being worked in BURIED is no less gruesome from what was featured in CAGED and I think that this continuity really set the stage for expectations going forward for this series. Readers are here and committed to not only read about Sayer, but to also experience and attempt to solve wildly intricate cases. I love how Cooper drops in mythology and science to the cases and killer’s actions in both of these books. Small details like that really make this book and the series as a whole more well-rounded.

I only docked off a half star because some parts did feel a bit over the top or a little too predictable to me, but at the end of the day those instances never stopped me from loving this book. I cannot recommend enough to hit the bookstore and get started with this series! It is certainly going to be one that readers look forward to picking up the latest new release, so why not get in on it while the series is only just starting out?

Disclosure: A huge thank you to Minotaur Books for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!
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"Abusers never do conveniently have fangs and horns. They’re usually really good at hiding what they do behind closed doors."

Sayer Altair is a neuroscientist and a Senior Special Agent with the FBI. INn the first book of this series CAGED, she was shot and is recovering with six months of desk duty. 

She gets called to a case early at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia when an off-duty FBI K-9 handler and his dog find a cave containing human bones and eventually more.

Sayer ends up having to work this case with a motley crew of FBI agents, Park personnel and local law enforcement and it quickly becomes apparent this case is still active.

I like this protagonist and the different characters in the book. Some of the story was pretty far-fetched but it is fiction and I was mostly able to overlook that.

I am claustrophobic and a lot of the action in the story takes place in caves so extra scary for me.

I recommend this to readers who like psychological thrillers or murder mysteries. Parts of it are pretty graphic violence, so be forewarned. 

I received this book from Minotaur Books through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.
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