Cut To The Bone by Ellison Cooper

Cut To The Bone by Ellison Cooper

C8142161-D74F-4A3A-8B6F-F4D1E94331D2Cut To The Bone is the third book in the Agent Sayer Altair series and it is one heart-pounded thrill ride!

Synopsis:

After grieving the death of her fiancé and almost losing her job, Agent Sayer Altair is finally starting to rebuild her life. Her research into the minds of psychopaths is breaking new ground and her strange little family is thriving. But Sayer’s newfound happiness is threatened when she is called in to investigate a girl’s body left inside a circle of animal figurines below a cryptic message written in blood. When they discover that the dead girl is one of twenty-four missing high school students, Sayer quickly realizes that nothing in this case is what it seems.

As the investigation draws her in to a tangled web of fake identities and false leads, the trail soon begins to point directly to her own life. Now, Sayer must confront her painful past to uncover her connection to the deranged killer if she hopes to save the missing teens and protect everything that she loves.

My Review:

I can’t sing enough praise for this series!  It has lightening fast suspense, it has a completely vulnerable yet tough-as-nails lead character, it has intense, intricately built crimes that are mind boggling puzzles.  Agent Sayer’s background in neuroscience adds such a whip-smart edge to these books that they stand out against all the other crime thrillers out there.

Cut To The Bone is a fantastic addition to the series.  This is one of those book reviews that I just want to say “I loved it, I loved it, I loved it” repeatedly because I just can’t seem to fit my thoughts and feelings into anything else coherent. The suspense was insane, the crime and investigation was so sharp, and the ending!!??  It was intense and sets the stage for a fiery sequel!  I can’t wait!  If I recommend one series to you, let it be this one!

Caged by Ellison Copper

Caged by Ellison Copper

B364A483-2E2E-4E37-8BF9-51500FAE0891Thank you to Minotaur books for sending me a free review copy of Caged in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Synopsis from Amazon:

FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair hunts for evil in the deepest recesses of the human mind. Still reeling from the death of her fiancé, she wants nothing more than to focus on her research into the brains of serial killers. But when the Washington D.C. police stumble upon a gruesome murder scene involving a girl who was slowly starved to death while held captive in a cage, Sayer is called in to lead the investigation. When the victim is identified as the daughter of a high profile senator, Sayer is thrust into the spotlight.

As public pressure mounts, she discovers that another girl has been taken and is teetering on the brink of death. With evidence unraveling around her, Sayer races to save the second victim but soon realizes that they are hunting a killer with a dangerous obsession…a killer who is closer than she thought.

My Review:

I am going to begin by saying that Caged is one of the best books I have read so far in 2018 and is one of the best crime fiction thrillers that I have ever read.  Needless to say, I loved it! There were a lot of similarities to the Unsub series by Meg Gardinier, if you read and liked those, then you will like Caged. However, I also feel like I should mention that this book is not for the faint of heart: it has some violence, some gore and some disturbing psychological ruminations. With that being said, I think Cooper did a good job writing those difficult scenes with as much tact as possible.  She wasn’t writing those parts for shock value, she was trying to write a clear description of a true serial killer.

Expertly paced, there were various points in the story that were so intense it had me sitting straight up in my chair, hand clamped over my mouth, heart pounding, scared to find out what was going to happen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get that kind of reaction from many books.

Something else I noticed about halfway through Caged was the extreme amounts of human emotion from many of the characters. The main FBI agent, Sayer, struggled to keep a grip on things and her distraught as the case was slipping out of control was palpable. The supporting characters were equally well done and believable. I think Cooper did a fine job of instilling those human qualities into an otherwise inhuman subject matter.

If you like thrillers or crime fiction at all, then you will really like this book.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it even better than I anticipated and I easily give Caged 5 out of 5 stars!  Well done, Ms. Cooper!