by Ellison Cooper

Buried by Ellison Cooper is the second book in her Special Agent Sayer Altair series (released on July 16, 2019)!  The third book in the series, Cut to the Bone, is set to be published on July 14, 2020 by Minotaur Books.

I first started this series because I was approved for the NetGalley of the third book, without realizing that it was part of a series.  Once I found out, I knew that I had to start from the beginning.  That being said, I liked the first book, Caged (you can find my full review for the first book here), but it certainly wasn’t a favourite of mine. I was a little nervous about continuing the series, but I am SO glad that I did because Buried was SO much better than the first book!

Buried starts off with an FBI agent and a cadaver dog falling into a sinkhole filled with bones (from MANY bodies) that have been there for two decades ?.  When Agent Sayer Altair is called to the scene and her team starts to sift through the bones, they also discover recently disposed human corpses.  As she and her short-staffed team try to figure out how these bodies got there, they uncover clues that link the new bodies to the old bones, and the hunt for the serial killer becomes SO intense.  I could Not. Stop. Reading.

What makes this book intense is that the action never stops.  Just as you find out how one clue (or person) links to the bodies, another crucial aspect appears that makes you second guess everything you’ve thought you’ve figured out.  I really loved that I could not predict parts of the plot, or even how it ended, especially because I felt that the first book was extremely predictable.

I absolutely loved the setting of the book (it made me think of Lisa Gardner’s book The Killing Hour), the plot, the crime and hunt for the serial killer, as well as the character relationships that continue to develop between Sayer and her “family” of misfits.  Everyone seems to be such unlikely friends… but there is something about their characters and the way they interact with each other that just works so well.

What I am also loving about this series is how similar it is to Kathy Reich’s Temperance Brennan series, in that it has that same archeological and anthropology ‘feel’ to it.  However, where I find Reich’s books to be slower and less engaging, Cooper’s are more exciting, fast-paced, and more enjoyable to read.

I am so excited to find out what happens in the third book, Cut to the Bone (which publishes on July 14, 2020).

If you haven’t read this book yet, you can check out the full plot summary below ↓


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…


I'm very happy that I've continued with this series. The second book was much better than the first and I'm excited to see how this series continues!

— Rebekah Dolmat

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