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(Agent Sayer Altair #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,709 ratings  ·  404 reviews
FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair hunts for evil in the deepest recesses of the human mind. Still reeling from the death of her fiance, 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'd been slowly starved to death while held captive in a ...more
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published July 10th 2018 by Minotaur Books
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Ellison Cooper Everything, from the world mythology, to the DNA science, to the neurobiology of serial killers, is genuine. If you want to know more, I have a whole…moreEverything, from the world mythology, to the DNA science, to the neurobiology of serial killers, is genuine. If you want to know more, I have a whole section on my web page (with references) coming soon! (Beware, there will be spoilers in the Science Behind Caged section.) (less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  1,709 ratings  ·  404 reviews

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Ellison Cooper's Caged is a well written police driven thriller with a mix of a strong female detective.

What I liked about Caged? I really liked how Sayer our main female detective had a strong background in Science. Sayer studies serial killers' brains and the general makeup of how it may appear more or less "normal"then what you would see in a non serial killer's brain. This was something I had never seen before in a crime/police procedural novel.

The story takes off with two police officers
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars!

Whew what a fast past thriller! I flew through this book in about 3ish hours. I also did this as a buddy read with a friend on Instagram and it has been really fun to have someone to talk to about this!

Sayer is an FBI Agent. She has had a rough past: her parents died in an accident and her fiancee was shot and killed on an FBI mission. One day she's called into a crime scene and they found a girl who has been starved to death and is in a cage as well as an animal with her. From here
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Caged by Ellison Cooper is a police procedural thriller with a bit of a twist on the lead investigator. Sayer Altair is with the FBI and a neuroscientist that has been doing a study of serial killers or more specifically their brains and trying to find anomalies that would distinguish them from normal human brains.

When two patrol officers get a call to an abandoned residence to check out a call to 911 from young girl they find the home closed up tight. Neighbors say they havent seen anyone
Krystin Rachel
Blog | Bookstagram

Okay, heres my issue: I really over-hyped myself for this one.

I heard police procedural and FBI agent and serial killer and just lost my ever-loving crime fiction booknerd mind, expecting to fall rapidly in love with this; for it to be everything I need a book with those descriptors to be. I consciously recognized that I was doing it, in the moment, and I made a decision to allow myself to be hyped for this. Which in any other circumstance, would have been against my better
Sarah Joint
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A finely crafted and disturbing thriller with an incredibly likable main character. Instead of being your run of the mill detective, Sayer is a neuroscientist with the FBI. She holds a special interest in serial killers... more specifically, the brains of serial killers. She's working on proving a theory, but it's not working out quite as well as she had hoped. We're all used to damaged female detectives, but Cooper adds enough to Sayer to make her feel fresh while still relying on the tragic ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Wow! Wow! Ummmm.... yeah.... Wow! Caged was a pulse pounding, edge of your seat, who the hell done it and shit I didnt see that coming thriller!

It kept me guessing the entire read. It has all the flavors for the mix needed for a good read: a strong female FBI agent with a twisty past, a sick twisted psychopath killer running wild, as well as a fun mix of other characters to keep you reading and keep you entertained. 5 stars for this one! Loved it!❤
Dr. Sayer Altair is a neuroscientist, investigating the brains of serial killers for the FBI. But when the police find a young girl, dead, after being locked in a cage and left to starve, Sayer is called on to lead the murder investigation. The case intensifies when it turns out she's the daughter of a famous Senator. Soon another girl is missing and Sayer feels the pressure of the case surrounding her. Can she find this next victim before it's too late? And can she find the horrible person who ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
This book really captures all the crime TV vibes... think Criminal Mind, which is one of my favorite shows so major win for me.  If you too are a fan of shows such as this than CAGED need to make its way into your life as soon as humanly possible. Ellison Cooper being a debut novelist came as a bit of a surprise to me. Her writing is clean, and the story line flowed with ease. What set Ellison apart is that the events that take place within this story are gore to the core, but are logic and not ...more
If you like the show Mindhunter, look no further because Caged is ready to deliver you to the world of crime-fiction, meets police drama. Ellison Cooper's debut novel takes place in Washington DC, focusing on FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair and the police force investigating true crime in the area. After two police officers stumble on a mysterious crime scene, agent Sayer Altair and Vik are staffed to figure out what happened. Sayer is still coping with the death of her fiance Jake, and in the ...more
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
I love serial killer thrillers, so I was really excited to read Caged in the month of October - since I'd heard it was good and creepy, I figured it would fit in perfectly with the Halloween season! Caged started off with a bang, and kept me hooked the entire time. I originally planned on reading a few chapters before bed (I should have known better!) and ended up reading more than half of the book before I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore, and then finished the rest of it in one sitting the ...more
Dee Arr
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, detective
I was doing well, enjoying Caged and guessing along with the agents who the killer might be and what could be done to save the next potential victim. Unfortunately, the one thing I hoped wouldnt happen, happened.

The story is very good, and the cast of characters have enough separation of personalities to keep them from blending together. The main character, Sayer, has personal issues that wind into her life without overshadowing the action (which is a welcome change from many of the special
Laura Rash
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was really different. A new twist to a detective thriller with a bad guy I didnt guess after assuming the whole time I had it figured out early on. This kind of eludes to another book & Im hoping that is so.
Thanks to Minotaur for this early copy:)
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
When a young girl is found dead in a cage, FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair must take a break from her research into the brains of serial killers. This killer seems to be very sadistic, letting the young victim slowly starve to death, but strangely, had given the girl a puppy. The case is complicated further by the fact that the girl is the daughter of a senator. Sayer tries to figure out the killers motive, but the situation becomes dire when they realize another girl is locked up somewhere...

⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5

All I can say about Caged by Ellison Cooper is how on earth did I not read it sooner?!

What it's about: FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair studies the brains of murderers trying to figure out why some people become killers, and some don't. When she isn't doing that, she is taking down bad guys for the FBI, and she has just gotten called in to lead a new case. Someone is holding young women in cages and the one that was just found happens to be the senator's daughter who went missing weeks
Jean's Bookshelf
This book was just what I needed. Was in a little bit of a reading slump with new authors and I picked up this book and I loved it.

It kinda reminded me of the Unsub series by Meg Gardiner but it was fantastic in it's own way. I love Sayer's character.

Can't wait for book 2 next summer! 😊
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A serial killer novel with an interesting premise that is smothered under the weight of PC pretentiousness.

I felt the reader did a good job, even if her Cajun accent needs some work.
Randi (randi_reads)
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Caged is a book that fellow reviewers informed me was so good and that I must read it. I checked it out from my local library and renewed it three times. With only one renewal remaining, I finally made time to read it and I am so glad I did! I'm also sorry it took me so long to pick it up.
Caged is a fast paced police procedural with a kickass heroine. Sayer Altair is pretty badass, but she does have a softer side which we see bits and pieces of. The story opens up with a bang and doesn't really
Jessica Woodbury
While I see this referred to as a "procedural," I wouldn't put it in that bucket. To me this falls firmly into "thriller." Yes, it does follow an investigation from the inside, but when I think Procedural I think of a slow series of steps and a close-ish to reality plot. This is not that. This is a Thriller where there's a new twist every five pages, with short chapters, and a highly unrealistic story. I keep waiting for the Thriller that really does it for me, but this wasn't it sadly. The ...more
Leah Nadeau
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not my genre. I'm actually surprised I read it all the way through lol I'm the type of person who didn't even really enjoy the movie Se7en with Brad Pitt lol

This book was like this - oh we're pretty sure who the killer is now! chase chase chase, oh wait nooooo that's not the killer, oh wait wait over here! chase chase chase.. hmm.. noooooo... oh here here here! this is it! .... nope lol over and over again.
Darcia Helle
Despite the brutal content, Caged is ultimately a forgettable book for me.

I expected psychological suspense, based on the description, but this book is a straight forward police procedural. Sayer, the lead character, is a neuroscientist, yet her part is mostly interchangeable with any cop character. The brain science touched on regarding the specific serial murder case is minimal. The research Sayer is privately working on reads like it was lifted off a pop culture social science book. In fact,
Alice Blanchard
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I crave a good book that unfolds like a movie. Caged opens with the police entering a house theyd already checked out the week before and, after a shocking setback, discovering a dead body suspended in a cage in the domicile of a demented serial killer. Great premise. Enter FBI Agent Sayer Altair, a neuroscientist who studies serial killers brains how they think, why they do the horrific things they do. Its the perfect set up for a summer read and it doesnt disappoint. The tick-tock pace never ...more
Jay -hooked on books
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews-written
Sayer Altair is a neuroscientist with the FBI. When the body of a young woman is found, abducted and subsequently left to starve to death in a metal cage in an abandoned house, Sayer gets called in to lead the investigation.

As a researcher who studies serial killer brains, Sayer has come across gruesome homicide cases, but it is soon evident that this investigation she's leading will surpass all other cases in its infamy and depravity.

The stakes are upped when the investigators realise there's
Nancy McFarlane
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sayer Altair is a neuroscientist whose main research is to study the brains of serial killers to see if a common anomaly can be detected. She joined the FBI expecting to mostly do research but soon finds herself the lead on the hunt for a sadistic killer who starved a young girl to death locked in a cage. When a second young girl is kidnapped the hunt to find her alive intensifies as does the pressure on Sayer from her boss and from a prominent senator whose daughter was the first victim. The ...more
Because I read both Caged and Buried back to back, I'm reviewing them together on my blog...

Two Books. Two Killers. One Amazing Agent.

Recently I was asked to read the third installment in the SSA Sayer Altair series by Ellison Cooper. The problem was that I hadn't read the first two. I have had Caged bookmarked to read since it was first published but you know how TBR lists are, more books piled on top of that one. So, I thought before I read the upcoming book due in 2020, I would catch up with
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book review can be found on my blog here:

This book is gripping, thrilling and oh so good from the beginning. It pulls you in and keeps you hooked from the first page. This is a great crime/police type book. 

In this book FBI neuroscientist Sayer works with the police force to solve a crime after the body of a girl is found in the basement of what appears to be an abandoned house. The girl appears to have been murdered, but by whom? The FBI and local police
Janelle | She Reads with Cats
Many thanks to Minotaur Books for providing my free copy of CAGED by Ellison Cooper - all opinions are my own.

This is one creepy, chilling, twisted thriller! A gruesome crime scene is discovered as a young woman is found starved to death and locked in a cage. FBI agent and neuroscientist Sayer Altair gets called in to lead the investigation. This is a horrendous case and Altair has seen her fair share of evil; she conducts research on the brains of serial killers, however this case is next level
David Putnam
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Not for me.
I made it to page 100. Loved the opening and the writing in the beginning. Good voice, descriptions and setup. I was really carried along. I thought the dialogue was over tagged but that's easy to get around. Then I came to the part about how a smart, intelligent protagonist (a highly educated senior Special Agent) drives a motorcycle, which I could halfway accept. But then the motorcycle has a side car and she drives her 71 year old grandmother around in it.
Then there was the murder
Natalie [genreneutralreader]
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
When I first got going on this book I realized it reminded me a lot of the early John Sanford Prey novels. It is gritty, rough, and doesnt shy away from uncomfortable details. After a while I saw that Ellison Cooper definitely has her own voice and a unique perspective. Caged gets scientific without talking over the readers heads. There is no pretentiousness, which I absolutely love when reading novels that incorporate science into their fiction. Sayer, Vic, and Ezra are all characters I would ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair hopes to one day unravel the mysteries of the human brain and she may get her chance when assigned to a bizarre murder case where a young woman's body is found in a suspended cage. When another girl goes missing, Sayer must race against the clock to unlock the killer's motives before this murderer claims an additional victim. This is a fast paced thriller which reads like a prime time television show.
Maureen DeLuca
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
My rating for this is between 3.5 to at times a 4 star read. A good psychological thriller with 2 really good due FBI agents. It ALMOST lost me towards the middle of the book where it seemed to be a bit unbelievable - but NOT enough for me to not want to finish this book . If you like FBI / police procedure type books with a psychological concept on the side - you should enjoy this book - I'm looking forward to pick up the 2nd in this series!
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Agent Sayer Altair (3 books)
  • Buried (Agent Sayer Altair, #2)
  • Cut to the Bone: A Novel (Agent Sayer Altair, #3)

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