Buried: A Novel

Buried: A Novel

by Ellison Cooper


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In Ellison Cooper’s suspense thriller Buried, an FBI neuroscientist is on the trail of a serial killer who’s turned up the heat on a cold case…

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…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250173867
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/16/2019
Series: Agent Sayer Altair Series , #2
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 111,396
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Ellison Cooper has a Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA, with a background in archaeology, cultural neuroscience, ancient religion, colonialism, and human rights. She has conducted fieldwork in Central America, West Africa, Micronesia, and Western Europe. She has worked as a murder investigator in Washington DC, and is a certified K9 Search and Rescue Federal Disaster Worker. She now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.

Ellison is the author of Caged.

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Buried: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
TropicalDelusions 7 days ago
Buried – Ellison Cooper I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review. FBI Agent and neuroscientist Sayer Altair is a week away from the end of her medical leave when she receives a call from her director, asking her to investigate a burial site that was inadvertently found deep in Shenandoah National Park, in the town of Rockfish Gap. With the FBI under congressional scrutiny after a serial killer was found in its midst, agents are spread thin, leaving Director Holt no choice but to activate Sayer early. Off duty FBI & K-9 Agent Maxwell Cho was out walking his cadaver dog Kona in the park, when the dog unexpectedly alerted for remains nearby. Approaching the area, Max fell, literally, into an underground cavern with the skeletal remains of several individuals, prompting the mobilization of an investigative team. Rockfish Gap’s sheriff, Kyle Nelson, also responds to the scene, and it becomes readily apparent that there’s bad blood between him and Max. Seventeen years ago, Kyle’s sister Cricket approached Max with a plea to help her disappear, and she’s never been seen or heard from again, leading Kyle to wonder if Cricket is one of the victims. As the investigation begins, it becomes apparent very quickly that someone didn’t want those bodies found…and as the team struggles with identifications, they begin to receive some conflicting DNA data, leaving Sayer and her team mystified. But a killer is watching and waiting and soon another woman goes missing… As they race to identify their killer, Sayer gets some unwanted help from a very unusual source – who just may have his own agenda for Sayer… On my goodness, this was so good, and it kept me reading well into the night, and ever changing my mind as to who the protagonist was! A great read!! I cannot wait to read more of Sayer’s adventures in the hopefully very near future!
Anonymous 13 days ago
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!
Samantha1020 20 days ago
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.
casey710 3 months ago
Found myself pulled in to this story from page 1. While this appears to be a follow up to another book I wasn't overly confused and didn't feel like I had walked into the 3rd act of a play. This was a thrilling and somewhat wild ride with all the appropriate twists and turns and a really satisfying ending. Now I need to go back and read the book before this. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced reader copy for review.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Buried is the second book in the Agent Sayer Altair series, a gritty, dark, intelligent crime procedural. I had high expectations going into this story since I was absolutely captivated by Caged, it’s precursor. In fact, Buried was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and being a crime book junkie, I’m selective in offering high praise to mysteries. I’m happy to report that Buried did not disappoint and fully lived up to my expectations. These stories feature Special Agent Sayer Altair, a single mother and neuroscientist who works for the FBI alongside a unique crew of fellow agents specializing in various fields. Not only does Agent Altair solve crimes, she also studies the minds of psychopaths, differentiating the variances between those who become killers, and those who don’t. In this story, her personal research intertwines with her current case, older skeletal remains that have been found in a cave in the Shenandoah National Park and some newly missing locals. Alongside investigating these unique and well-crafted crimes, an overarching narrative is transpiring involving corruption within the FBI and it hits far too close to home for Sayer. This series is clever, gripping, and easily-readable. The author does a stellar job of breaking down a complex crime solving process in an articulate and intriguing manner, with chapters that leave you needing to read more. Cooper writes compelling, interesting and consumable crime fiction and has fast become one of my favorite authors.
MikeStaff 3 months ago
'Buried' by Ellison Cooper is an entertaining read. The author cleverly has her heroes swim through a sea of red herrings before the inevitable showdown. It also successfully plants the seeds for the next book as readers are left wanting to know the identity of the wizard of psycho who has interjected himself into the life of our heroine. Finally, as an alumnus of UVA, I enjoyed the fact most of the action took place in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. It is nice to find a good book set in locales you're familiar with.
SheTreadsSoftly 3 months ago
Buried by Ellison Cooper is a highly recommended investigative thriller and a sequel to 2018’s Caged. Max Cho, an off-duty FBI agent and his K9 Kona find a sinkhole filled with human bones in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. FBI Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair is called back into the field to investigate. Sayer has been off-duty recovering from a gunshot wound when she exposed a killer within the FBI, resulting in personal attacks and a huge investigation. As a neuroscientist Sayer has been studying psychopaths. She never expected to find one in the FBI and now she is on the trail of another one. The bones in the sinkhole vary widely in their age, but there are two bodies in there are recent, so Sayer knows she has an active dump sight of a serial killer. The recent victims were women who were kidnapped, and there are clues that point to more victims to follow. The killer, though, must be watching them because their team has been attacked. While trying to solve the current case, the congressional investigation of the FBI is ongoing and the media is swarming. This is obviously a sequel and I do wish I had read Caged first before jumping into Buried. While I stilled enjoyed this second book, I felt I was missing some key elements. Even so, the story is compelling and I was engrossed in reading it as fast as possible. There is plenty of action and investigative threads to follow. The descriptive writing kept me glued to the pages as the crime is investigated and solved. The plot is complex and Cooper excels at keeping the anticipation high. Sayer is a great character and I liked her quite a bit (even though I feel like I would have reacted even more if I had read the first book). All the characters are well developed and interesting. This seems like a great series to continue following. Yes, some of the plot elements are predictable, but the presentation is still engaging and made for some great escapism while following an intense plot. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of St. Martin's
diane92345 3 months ago
FBI Agent Sayer Altair is leading a headline-grabbing serial killer case in Buried. Max Cho is hiking with his FBI human remains detection dog, Kona, when she frantically signals a dead body is nearby. While investigating, Max falls into a cave littered with old bones. The FBI is facing a Congressional hearing after a serial killer is found among their staff. FBI Assistant Director Janice Holt is testifying as are many of her staff. She calls on Agent, and neuroscientist, Altair from medical leave to head the cave of bones’ investigation with Max, Dana the forensic scientist, Ezra the computer specialist, and Piper a park ranger as her entire team. When two recently dead bodies are found, with a link to another missing woman, the case goes from cold to red-hot. What is the connection between the old bones and the new bodies? Can Altair and her team find the missing woman in time? I enjoyed the complexity of the plot. There are multiple threads entangled here—some from Caged, the previous book in the series, and some new. Only some get completely resolved by the conclusion foreshadowing another book in this series. I didn’t read the other book in this series and had no problem following the character’s histories and the plot. Buried is an outstanding mix of Scarpetta and Hannibal Lector. I also learned a bunch about psychopaths. You can take the test online that Altair gives her research subjects, if you wish. Overall, a great read for thriller and especially serial killer fans. 4 stars! Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
livlife 3 months ago
No matter how I review this book the review will not do this book justice.When I read Caged and absolutely loved it I was hoping the next in the series would be just as outstanding and I was not disappointed. Agent Sayer is back and involved in another mystery of this time bones and lot of them! Max falls into a sinkhole with tons of bones buried and this starts this thrilling read on a very spellbinding ride! I would say I would highly recommend this book and actually both books in the series but I would rather say if you don't read this book and you love suspense you will be very disappointed you missed this book. This author just grabs you into the story and before you know it your reading into the night just to finish ! Sayer is such a great female character that is hard not to root for her and want her to catch the bad guys. If I could give this book more stars I would you have to read!!!
ShelleyWalton_123 3 months ago
I was unaware that this was the second book in a series but I do think it can read as a standalone. Maxwell Cho, an FBI agent and his dog Kona are hiking through the Shenandoah mountains when Kona alerts for a body. As Maxwell investigates he tumbles into a sinkhole filled with the disarticulated bones of skeletons. Sayer Altair, an FBI neuroscientist, arrives to assist with the case. The FBI is completely short-staffed and in disarray, the Director having to attend Congressional hearings into previous, heinous oversights at the FBI ( I won't say more it will spoil the first book). While processing the bones, Sayer stumbles on the remains of two more bodies, much fresher bodies! Is there a connection between the old killings and the new ones? There is an enjoyable cast to assist her, including Cho and Kona, Piper the forest ranger, the FBI pathologist, the gruff small-town police chief and an old colleague of hers. There was enough action and twists in the tale to keep it exciting, although my favourite contribution definitely came from Subject 037. He is one of the anonymous psychopaths she is studying and he appears to have an obsession with her and her work. How is he able to assist her in the manner that he does? Who is he and what sort of power does he yield? I am eager to read the next in the series to discover the tale of Subject 037. Thank you #Netgalley and #StMartin'sPress for the advanced copy of #Buried in exchange for my honest review.
iiiireader 3 months ago
I will say right off, if you are interested in this as part of a new series, you should start with the first one, which is called “Caged”. There are many clues and downright spoilers included in “Buried” that going back later and reading the first book would be anti-climatic. Having said that, this is a book which can be read stand-alone easily. I haven’t read the first book but am trying to convince myself to go back anyway as I really enjoyed this book. FBI agent Sayer Altair is just coming back from an injury from the previous book. She is not top-notch yet physically but is itching to get back to work. She is pulled into action a tad earlier when another FBI stumbles upon human bones while he is out at a national park walking with his cadaver dog. The FBI is currently under investigation and agents and teams are spread far and thin. Because of that, there are limited resources for Sayer and her small team to get their job done. Local park and police officials step in to fill up the gap. The crime escalates and becomes a search for recently missing individuals. The psychopath seems one step ahead of Sayer. At the same time, Sayer is conducting a study of non-violet psychopaths and Subject 037 (her newest participant) seems to be someone she either knows or who most certainly knows a lot about her. The study is supposed to be anonymous but Subject 037 starts involving himself in Sayer’s life. I enjoyed the story and the whodunnit, which was something that was surprising to me. There were a lot of twists that I didn’t suspect and I will be looking forward to the next book in this series. When I have time, I will purchase “Caged” and read it but with less expectation of being surprised. Still, I am sure it will be a good read based on how much I enjoyed this book. I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
PatriciaWhite 3 months ago
This is the second book on the Sayer Altair series. I really am lovin’ this new author. Gritty, heart pounding suspense. Sayer has been on leave since the events of the last book. She’s eager to get back in the field. A cave full of bones sends her back. Lots of political fall out in the background from the events from her last case. The shadowy figure of subject 037 is something I hope to see more of in future books.These are definitely not your run of the mill serial killer books. I’m eager to see what this author comes up with next.