Caged
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 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.

Caged Details

TitleCaged
Author
ReleaseJul 10th, 2018
PublisherMinotaur Books
ISBN-139781250173836
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Fiction

Caged Review

  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 come across a mysterious crime scene, where Detective Sayer and Vik are called to the crime scene. Sayer finds the body of a women who happens to be the daughter of a strong senator. Sayer's case takes off from here and she wonders are there others that have been murdered/missing etc? So.. some things that I had issues with... typical police procedural aspects to this one. Nothing unique about Sayer's team... I felt it was just different names but the same characters that you always see in police procedurals! I was expecting more of an original/unique set of characters and dialogue. I was a tad bit disappointed. Also, little over half way there was a break in Sayer's case and it was just very unbelievable and little over the top for my taste. I was rolling my eyes big time... I would recommend this one to those that have not dived too deep into the police/thriller procedural novels and are ok with dark details to the serial killer's crimes. Overall, 3 stars for this one.Thank you so much to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur books for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for my honest review.Published to GR: 6/13/18Publication date: 7/10/18
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    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 haven’t seen anyone comi 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 haven’t seen anyone coming or going there and without a definite point of origin for the call they leave. Twelve days later a call comes in for a horrible smell from the same abandoned home. Not only do they find the body of a young woman but both officers get shot.Sayer Altair gets the call to lead the investigation into the homicide of the girl when it looks as if she was left alone to starve to death in a cage. The victim is soon identified as the daughter of a senator bringing the case into the spotlight and with evidence leading them the wrong direction Sayer finds herself struggling to make sense of the case when another victim is in danger.First I’ll say I’m a bit hit or miss with police procedurals, things need to line up just right to make me love them overall. Caged really started off a strong read and I thought I would fall in love with it but slowly along the way I found little things here and there that brought my rating down a bit with this one.First, I liked the idea of Sayer being a neuroscientist but at times I don’t think i was used enough in the book to make it stand out. The characters in here didn’t really stand out much other than the detail about Sayer so I didn’t really fall in love with them. The author seemed to concentrate on making the investigation feel real and sometimes too many little details get a tad boring to me but on the flip side of that some of the things also didn’t feel believable.. say calling up the lab about a test and they run one while on the phone, er those things take time.So as you can see I was a bit up and down with this story as I was going along. Then I’d say fairly early on for this type of read I saw right through and picked out the killer too. Now there were plenty of suspicions and suspects tossed in so perhaps it was just plain luck but I’d also would have been more excited to be wrong so in the end the book ended up a bit meh for me.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more review please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • Sarah Joint
    January 1, 1970
    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 pa 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 past authors often use. I think this is an impressive debut. It certainly kept me reading, and my guesses about the ending were dead wrong. This case was always going to make headlines: a young woman's body has been found in a cage, starved and trapped But this case won't go away until it's solved: the young woman was the daughter of a politician. It'll stay in the papers until the killer is brought to justice, not only because of the grisliness of the crime but because of who she was. Sayer is uniquely qualified for the case, and is pulled from her work trying to prove her serial killer theory to solve it. Just as the pressure from the public reaches a breaking point, they discover another girl has been taken. Since the first young woman suffered for quite some time, they have a chance of finding her... even if she's in a cage, wishing she were dead. Will they get to her before it's too late?There was a lot here I liked! I found the main character to be really interesting. Her co-workers need to be fleshed out more, and I hope they will be in the next book. That's right - hopefully we will get more of Sayer! I'm down to read the next book for sure. I can only hope it'll keep me on the edge of my seat as much as this one. I also particularly enjoyed the legends from different cultures represented. And if you add in some lovable animals to any book, it's going to make me like it just a little bit more. (I know, that doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the storyline, but you'll see.) I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and Minotaur Books with St. Martin's Press. Thank you! My opinion is honest and unbiased.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 a complete stretch of the imagination. There is just the right amount of thrills, gore, and electrifying suspense.What a mind trick Ellison Cooper plays on her reader! There were SO many times that I thought I was on to who the sociopath committing all these murders was, and while I did catch on before the reveal, it was shocking it took me as long as it did with all the subtle clues that I had missed.  I also am a sucker for novels with a strong female lead and CAGED most certainly has just that with our main female detective, Sayer. I kind of wish this was a series because I ended this wanting to continue stalking out serial killers with Sayer. "I prefer to edify my mind rather than fill it with tripe and horror."Front start to finish this novel had me captivated. There was not a moment where I wanted to pause the action that just kept elevating all the way to its satisfying ending. While I wish that there was further elaboration on the topic in which this novel ends, it was a satisfying cliffhanger. This ending will leave you pleading for more. I cannot wait to get my hands on whatever Ellison releases next. I'll leave you with this passage from CAGED where I feel Ellison described her very own book perfectly :"it was like writing a mystery novel: throw in a few red herrings, a few exciting breakthrough...honestly its better than any of those crime drama TV shows"Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 midst of providing research on murderers and their genetic differences to why and how they can commit these heinous crimes. Once engulfed into the crime scene, Sayer finds the body of daughter Gwendolyn Van Hurst, the daughter of a media hungry senator. Gwendolyn has been missing for a year now, and her discovery just begins to form new questions about a mysterious case. Are they dealing with a serial killer? Are there other victims? And who is the mastermind in this whole production? I'm very surprised that Caged is a debut novel, because Ellison Cooper's writing is very crisp and smart—she can tell a story while it crafts in your imagination. While Caged is dark and mysteriously, it's plagued by police procedural/detective novel clichés. Without spilling too many of them in this review, Sayer comes from a rough past, no matter how privileged her upbringing. Also, the relationship between Sayer and her team in the DC FBI is just so standard and typical of crime-fiction novels, that you can literally take the dialogue, switch out the names of the people, and BAM it's the next crime-fiction novel at your fingertips. I was expecting more original dialogue and a more interesting arc. A little over halfway through, a break in the case is so unbelievable that I knew I just needed to get this story over with.That being said, the crimes committed in Caged were dark, disturbing, and yet oh so intriguing. This is definitely not the type of book that you'd read late at night without checking behind the shower curtain beforehand. I kind of got OA (on Netflix) vibes while reading about the victims. Caged provides the shock value that readers come to expect with this genre. I would recommend readers to pick up Caged if they haven't dabbled too far into the crime fiction novel, but have a strong stomach for the grotesque.
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  • Dee Arr
    January 1, 1970
    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 wouldn’t 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 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 wouldn’t 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 agent/detective novels on the market). While the serial killer idea has been done, author Ellison Cooper adds a few twists that make this story her own.What I suspected might happen to the plot direction suddenly became more reality than fear. Like all readers, I enjoy when the author can devise a twist that is totally unexpected yet still makes sense. In her attempt to fool the reader, Ms. Cooper has elevated this story to the fantastic (as in unreal) level, forcing me to accept a possibility that frays the last remaining strands of my belief structure. Could this story happen? Maybe…possibly…then again…What kept me reading until the end (and why I will recommend this book) is that despite the plot twist, Ms. Cooper’s writing saves the story from becoming a crash-and-burn. All the pieces tie together neatly, justifying the killer’s identity and providing an ending that, while unrealistic, still appears logical. The author even drops clues along the way, daring us to guess (good luck to you, I wasn’t even close). Bottom Line: “Caged” is an enjoyable, satisfactory read, a crime thriller that will wrap you up in its structure and force you to keep reading until the last page. Even with the issue I described above, it is impossible to give this book less than four stars.My thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for a complimentary advance copy of this book.
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  • Laura Rash
    January 1, 1970
    This was really different. A new twist to a detective thriller with a “bad guy” I didn’t guess after assuming the whole time I had it figured out early on. This kind of eludes to another book & I’m hoping that is so. Thanks to Minotaur for this early copy:)
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  • Jay -hooked on books
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 a young woman who could be alive, but well at the brink of death, and they need to unearth every piece of evidence and find the person behind all of this. Caged is a suspenseful tale chock-full of twists and turns. It will keep you guessing and wondering till the end. As Sayer is forced to question every thing they're uncovering, so will the reader, because all is not as it seems. By the end of the book, you will find yourself rooting for more of Sayer Altair, more of her partnership with Vik, and to know more about the events that have shaped Sayer into who she is.
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  • Nancy McFarlane
    January 1, 1970
    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 sc 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 science and forensics are amazing; the motive of the killer is totally unexpected as is his method of achieving his goal. The action is non-stop and the well-developed characters leave you wanting to continue to be a part of their lives.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Book review can be found on my blog here: www.booksonthebookshelf.wordpress.comThis 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 fo Book review can be found on my blog here: www.booksonthebookshelf.wordpress.comThis 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 force work hard to try to uncover what happened, who is responsible, and why. They then face the question - are there more victims? Is this an isolated case or are they in search of a serial killer on the loose?This book I found very interesting. It keeps your interest throughout, as you try to uncover the mystery of what exactly happened and who was responsible. I thought I figured out who the murderer was only to find out I was completely wrong. And the truth shocked me, did not expect that at all.This is a great book that was a true pleasure to read.Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Janelle
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 with depravity she’s never seen. It’s not long before she discovers a second girl has been kidnapped and the clock is ticking for Altair to locate the latest victim before it’s too late.My favorite thing about this cop versus serial killer thriller is the plot. It’s highly entertaining, grisly, grotesque, and downright fascinating. I mean, a serial killer that holds his victims captive in a cage for so long they die of dehydration, is riveting. The other aspect I love is the introduction of neuroscience used as a tool to help solve the case. I am completely into all things science and the study of human behavior so I love that it is a skill used by the main protagonist. Also, I can’t believe this is a debut thriller because Cooper does an incredible job laying out the evidence and details of the case complete with a standout ending and a teaser for the next book. There was some overuse of law enforcement stereotypical dialogue that I can only stomach on a crime television show, but overall it didn’t keep me from enjoying this cinematic, exciting read!
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  • Natalie [genreneutralreader]
    January 1, 1970
    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 doesn’t 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 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 doesn’t 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 like to read about in future novels if this were to become part of a series. I must also note that whether or not the reader figures out the whodunnit before it’s spelled out, I can almost guarantee there will be some parts of the mystery he/she will never before have seen in another thriller. Overall, I thought Caged was a riveting thriller with good twists and turns and a cast of characters that would lend themselves well to a series. Thanks to author Ellison Cooper, St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for my advance reader ecopy of Caged! I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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  • KC
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Kristina Nowell
    January 1, 1970
    Let me start off by saying that I’m not a huge fan of novels that follow Detectives and the likes, but #Caged May have changed that for me. Caged follows a Neuroscientist with the FBI named Sayer Altair as she embarks on a journey to finding the serial killer who had booby-trapped the house where he was holding a girl imprisoned in a suspended cage, and wounded a D.C. officer along with killing another. As Altair and her partner Vik begin unraveling the events that led to the young girls death d Let me start off by saying that I’m not a huge fan of novels that follow Detectives and the likes, but #Caged May have changed that for me. Caged follows a Neuroscientist with the FBI named Sayer Altair as she embarks on a journey to finding the serial killer who had booby-trapped the house where he was holding a girl imprisoned in a suspended cage, and wounded a D.C. officer along with killing another. As Altair and her partner Vik begin unraveling the events that led to the young girls death due to dehydration in that cage, they fear that there may be another girl being held hostage somewhere else by the same killer. With that, begins a very fast paced and eventful novel of one woman’s will to find an innocent girl in hopes of doing so before time runs out whilst also battling her own demons that came about after losing her fiancé in the field a year prior. Ellison Cooper manages to fully entice her readers with a story not only full to the brim with suspense but also a deep psychological thrill that raises your hairs on their ends. Whilst all the signs were pointing in one direction, I knew that a masterfully crafted novel such as Caged wouldn’t go down such a predictable road, and it definitely did not. The ending was definitely a shocker and I enjoyed that the novel was finished off with room for a sequel or even a full on series. This book would also make an AMAZING film and I truly hope to see a movie adaptation of this novel in the near future. If you are looking for a book that channels it’s inner Thomas Harris-esque type of style, this is the book for you! I can’t wait to see what Ellison Cooper decides to release next. Special thanks to #NetGalley, #EllisonCooper and #StMartinPress and #MinotaurBooks for the ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Darcia Helle
    January 1, 1970
    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, 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, the research she talks about is now fairly well known and is certainly no longer groundbreaking stuff. I was disappointed that Sayer's neuroscience background wasn't a stronger part of the story.The pacing is slow. We investigate along with Sayer, and then we go to the team's daily meetings and rehash everything we've already learned. These scenes could have been condensed for better flow. I found myself skimming a lot.Character development is weak. Sayer slowly comes alive but gives us mixed messages. She rides a motorcycle, does her own thing despite what people think, and is independent. Yet she's also overly dramatic and, at times, seems desperate for approval. She continually ignores her grandmother's calls for no clear reason, leading us to believe they have a strained relationship at best, but then we later see they have a strong and loving relationship. The mixed messages make it difficult to get an honest sense of Sayer's character. The other characters don't have standout personalities, but only fill their intended parts.This book has a solid start and definitely grabbed my interest. But all too quickly the pace slowed and the characters didn't give me anything special. The graphic content with the killer felt almost gratuitous; a way to grab the reader when the plot and characters weren't doing enough. And, finally, the ending was far too overblown and implausible for me to buy into the story as a whole.*The publisher provided me with an ebook copy, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.*
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  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Minotaur Books for my free advance copy in exchange for an honest review.Seeing fellow reviewers compare this book to UNSUB had me over the moon excited to read it. I was also nervous after hearing about some animal involvement, but I decided to proceed with caution and give it a chance after several people assured me I wouldn't be traumatized. Coming from the person who refuses to watch movies like Marley and Me and has to look away during THAT scene in I Am Legend, I can comfort Many thanks to Minotaur Books for my free advance copy in exchange for an honest review.Seeing fellow reviewers compare this book to UNSUB had me over the moon excited to read it. I was also nervous after hearing about some animal involvement, but I decided to proceed with caution and give it a chance after several people assured me I wouldn't be traumatized. Coming from the person who refuses to watch movies like Marley and Me and has to look away during THAT scene in I Am Legend, I can comfortably say that Caged is safe for animal lovers. There was brief mention of an animal's death but there is no torture, mutilation or sacrifice, all of which would have had me throwing my book across the room. Caged is fast paced, addictive and pleasantly dark and disturbing. Towards the end there was one aspect of the plot that began to feel a little repetitive, but the way that it was first introduced was brilliant. I had the killer pegged earlier than was probably intended, but it still made for a good twist and a great read. The very last page made me want to scream. There's one big unanswered question that's thrown in your face, which I might have hated if I hadn't found out there is already a sequel in the works. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment in the Sayer Altair series.
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  • Terri Wino
    January 1, 1970
    This review contains minor spoilers, but nothing revealing major plot points. I was really looking forward to this book because the description made it sound like an absolute page turner. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to the hype for me.First, the positives. It is definitely fast-paced and there weren't really any boring patches. I liked the character of Sayer very much; she is someone you want to see succeed and there honestly wasn't anything about her I didn't like. This book starts o This review contains minor spoilers, but nothing revealing major plot points. I was really looking forward to this book because the description made it sound like an absolute page turner. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to the hype for me.First, the positives. It is definitely fast-paced and there weren't really any boring patches. I liked the character of Sayer very much; she is someone you want to see succeed and there honestly wasn't anything about her I didn't like. This book starts out strongly and sucks the reader in -- you immediately want to find out what's going to happen next and what kind of twisted villain we're dealing with. The first half of the book is pretty damn good, especially for a debut author. Unfortunately, things sort of started to fall apart for me around the halfway mark. First of all, I had a REALLY hard time finding it believable -- and here's the minor spoiler -- that a character who had just lost both legs in an explosion would be jumping right back into work from their hospital bed within mere days. I mean, the psychological effect alone of losing a limb (not to mention more than one), and the physical pain, I would think would be mentally debilitating to the average person. I just found this part of the book so unbelievable.While there were a few red herrings, I thought it was pretty easy to guess who the unsub they were chasing would turn out to be, and my guess turned out to be correct. That in itself wouldn't detract from my enjoyment of the book, but when the culprit is finally revealed and the sheer number and manner of their crimes is uncovered, all I could think was, "Oh, come on! You have got to be kidding me." This person must be the ultimate supervillain from a comic based on their life of crime. And the reason behind their current series of attacks? Sorry, I just had a hard time swallowing that one.Is this book worth the time to read? Despite my negatives about it, I would absolutely say it is. This author had a great concept, but I just feel the end result wasn't as good as it could have been. I really like the cast of characters that Ellison Cooper has assembled here and, despite the disappointing factors in Caged, I would 100% purchase another book by this author and absolutely hope she writes another book featuring Sayer and company.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Why I'm a fan of serial killer novels I'm not really sure, but this debut was a stunner! FBI agent, Sayer is a neuroscientist studying killers' brains to determine the chemical makeup and how it may differ from "normal" brains. But when a local politician's daughter is discovered dead after being caged and drugged, Sayer is pulled into the maelstrom that will envelop this case. It's a wild ride to say the least, bringing ancient mythology and reincarnation into play. At times gruesome and gritty Why I'm a fan of serial killer novels I'm not really sure, but this debut was a stunner! FBI agent, Sayer is a neuroscientist studying killers' brains to determine the chemical makeup and how it may differ from "normal" brains. But when a local politician's daughter is discovered dead after being caged and drugged, Sayer is pulled into the maelstrom that will envelop this case. It's a wild ride to say the least, bringing ancient mythology and reincarnation into play. At times gruesome and gritty, with lots of red herrings, this one may keep you up at night! I look forward to Cooper's sequel; there must be one in the works as some of Sayer's past remains unanswered at the end. A great read!Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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  • Wendy-Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Received from Net Galley and the publisher for my honest review. This book was not my cup of tea. Just an okay read.
  • Brigid Keely
    January 1, 1970
    “Caged,” by Ellison Cooper, is a fast paced thriller about FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair, who winds up leading the hunt for an especially twisted serial killer. Said serial killer is kidnapping young women and locking them in cages, dosing them with psychoactive drugs, priming them with mythology about death and dying, and then starving them. It’s a long, slow, scary way to die. Altair and her team are eager to end the cycle of killings and prevent any more girls from being tortured and killed “Caged,” by Ellison Cooper, is a fast paced thriller about FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair, who winds up leading the hunt for an especially twisted serial killer. Said serial killer is kidnapping young women and locking them in cages, dosing them with psychoactive drugs, priming them with mythology about death and dying, and then starving them. It’s a long, slow, scary way to die. Altair and her team are eager to end the cycle of killings and prevent any more girls from being tortured and killed.I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway, but my opinion is my own.Content Note: forced outing of someone intersex/transThere’s really cliched words used to describe thrillers: roller coaster, page turner, gripping, full of twists, etc. “Caged” is all of those and more. “Caged” is a very fast read with a few great red herrings that come across not as cheap or cheating but as organic parts of the story. When I was fooled, so were the rest of the characters, in a very believable way. Cooper does a great job using our expectations against us.Cooper’s characters are interesting as well: flawed, hurting Altair and her incredible grandmother; her partner Vik; FBI Assistant Director, and her boss, Janice Holt; blue haired evidence tech Ezra; Medical Examiner Joan Warren; huge egotistical jerk and profiler Andy Wagner. They don’t feel like stock characters, or pale imitations of real people crabbed from tv shows. They all have stories and pasts of their own, even if we don’t see them.The book passes the Bechdel-Wallace test on page seven and continues with solid, realistic, fully fleshed female characters throughout the book.I could easily see this book as a good and exciting movie, either on the big screen or as part of a televised mini-series that follows the rest of the book series that we’re almost guaranteed to get as sequels to “Caged.”I did have a few quibbles with the book, most of which are spoilers.One big non-spoiler is that although it’s enticing to think that serial killers are super smart geniuses who outwit the police through sheer braininess and not luck and inattention on the part of cops, the statistical fact is that most serial killers are low average to average intelligence. They start with small crimes, build up from there, and largely target marginalized people like Women of Color who are homeless and/or sex workers. They often brag about their violent actions but are overwhelmingly ignored. When Wagner busts out his analysis of who the serial killer is, he spouts the most cliched and average description possible. White male.25-35 years old. The statistically improbably high IQ (which keeps getting bumped up higher and higher). Etc. Serial killers fly under the radar not because they’re Hannibal Lectors, suave and genius manipulators. They fly under the radar, are successful, because they seem average.Another is that the author is a Maya nerd. She’s studied the Maya and Maya culture. But when Agent Altair goes to chat with a Maya expert she gets an infodump one can easily find online. I expected more from a conversation with an expert, especially when the AUTHOR is an expert in the field.There were a few other things that bugged me but I’m not going to go into them because they walk all over spoiler territory, kicking sand over the line between “spoiler” and “not spoiler” and sprinting well into spoiler distance. Most people who aren’t huge nerds won’t recognize them, though. Just like, ah, most people who aren’t huge nerds probably won’t have noticed my two issues above.All in all, however, I greatly enjoyed “Caged” and would happily set aside a day or two to read whatever novel is the follow up to this oneFor more reviews, visit my site
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  • Ariana Fae
    January 1, 1970
    http://arianafae.com/2018/07/caged-by...Debut author Ellison Cooper had me up until 3am reading her dark and disturbing novel CAGED.What I enjoyed about this book, besides being a great story, was how Copper’s vividly described her characters physically. For example with this passage describing a killer."The man filled the space around him like a mountain forged from solid rock. Thick Jowls hung like slabs of met off his face. Matted blond hair sprung from his head like a bird's nest. Most terri http://arianafae.com/2018/07/caged-by...Debut author Ellison Cooper had me up until 3am reading her dark and disturbing novel CAGED.What I enjoyed about this book, besides being a great story, was how Copper’s vividly described her characters physically. For example with this passage describing a killer."The man filled the space around him like a mountain forged from solid rock. Thick Jowls hung like slabs of met off his face. Matted blond hair sprung from his head like a bird's nest. Most terrifying were the killer's hands, with fingers like muscled eels."And speaking of characters, Sayer Altair is excellent: smart, fearless, dedicated and emotionally wounded which drew me to like her. However, my favorite was Sayer’s 70-year-old nana who stole each scene. She was fierce aggressive and who I hope to be like when I’m that age.Cooper writes nail-biting building tense scenes that had me saying just one more chapter, and then I’ll go to bed, but I couldn’t put the book down. There was a scene with a captive girl and weaken kitten that had me biting my bottom lip hoping Sayer would find them before it was too late. I was enthralled by the red herrings and twists throughout the book, especially the scene with Ayer’s first suspect; totally unexpected and brilliant.CAGED is a riveting and intriguing thriller that I enjoyed reading. I will be eagerly waiting for Cooper’s next book.
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  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    Review of Advance Readers’ EditionThe discovery of a girl’s body pits FBI Agent Sayer Altair, her partner, Vik Devereaux, and a team of investigators against a sadistic killer who left the young woman imprisoned in an iron cage and allowed her to starve to death. Sayer’s search for answers brings more questions than answers and the maelstrom surrounding the case sets her on a trail of discovery that could cost her everything. With a decidedly different twist on serial killer chronicles, “Caged” Review of Advance Readers’ EditionThe discovery of a girl’s body pits FBI Agent Sayer Altair, her partner, Vik Devereaux, and a team of investigators against a sadistic killer who left the young woman imprisoned in an iron cage and allowed her to starve to death. Sayer’s search for answers brings more questions than answers and the maelstrom surrounding the case sets her on a trail of discovery that could cost her everything. With a decidedly different twist on serial killer chronicles, “Caged” is gruesome, dark, bizarre, and riveting. Grabbing readers from the beginning, this well-crafted story offers readers a passel of the requisite red herrings along with unexpected plot twists. The suspense continually builds and the tension is palpable; even the most astute readers are likely to be surprised by the revelations. Well-drawn, diverse characters, all of whom carry their own share of angst, people this mesmerizing tale, adding strength to the narrative. With its fast pace, the constantly-unfolding clues, and the ever-building tension, readers will find it difficult to set this thrill-fest aside before the final page has been turned.Highly recommended.I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- FBI profiler Sayer Altair hunts a brilliant serial killer with a dangerous obsession in Caged, a gripping thriller from debut author Ellison Cooper.In a residential Washington, D.C. neighborhood, a young woman's body is found in the basement of an abandoned house--starved to death in a cage, along with the video footage of a dark and deadly ritual. The victim is identifi I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- FBI profiler Sayer Altair hunts a brilliant serial killer with a dangerous obsession in Caged, a gripping thriller from debut author Ellison Cooper.In a residential Washington, D.C. neighborhood, a young woman's body is found in the basement of an abandoned house--starved to death in a cage, along with the video footage of a dark and deadly ritual. The victim is identified as the daughter of a prominent D.C. politician, and it falls to the FBI to track down the unconscionable psychopath who murdered her.FBI special agent Sayer Altair would rather conduct research on criminality than catch actual criminals. But when she's offered a promotion hinging on her next assignment, she reluctantly accepts the "Cage Killer" case. Taunted by a photo of another victim at the mercy of this vicious killer, Sayer and her team are driven to put an end to these grisly homicides.During the investigation, clues emerge connecting the murders to Sayer's past. Now, the stakes are personal, and the deeper Sayer is drawn into the deadly web, the more she believes she is the only one who can uncover the killer's identity. Told with devastating detail, shocking twists and unrelenting suspense, Cooper proves her exceptional ability to entertain and enthrall.How can this be a debut novel?? I was hooked in from page one and enthralled by the story and the twist and turns it took. The suspense would get to me and I would refuse to let it down – what an amazingly well-written first book. Wow – five shiny stars!
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    This was a solid 4.5 stars raised to a 5. Sayer is an FBI Agent in DC. The remains of a young woman are found in a basement in a cage. It is obviously the work of a serial killer. Their investigation is complex and will keep you reading. The characters are well developed and complicated. Everyone had issues and had to deal with them throughout the novel. There was a surprising amount of action both mental and physical and a climax not to be missed. Thanks to Net Galley and Minotaur for an ARC fo This was a solid 4.5 stars raised to a 5. Sayer is an FBI Agent in DC. The remains of a young woman are found in a basement in a cage. It is obviously the work of a serial killer. Their investigation is complex and will keep you reading. The characters are well developed and complicated. Everyone had issues and had to deal with them throughout the novel. There was a surprising amount of action both mental and physical and a climax not to be missed. Thanks to Net Galley and Minotaur for an ARC for an honest review.
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  • Andi (Booklovinmama25)
    January 1, 1970
    Before starting Caged I had seen it frequently all over Instagram and I was so excited to be able to read it so thank you to Minotaur for letting me review the netgalley! The best parts of this story had great character development, suspense and I did not predict the ending! The plot was much different that what I had expected and it had a historical approach to it. The only reason I gave it a 3 out 5 instead of a 4 was because at times it started getting a little flat.
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  • Suzi McGhie
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very good serial killer thriller. A police procedural but with lots of intense action. The main character was a very likable, strong and determined woman. Yeah, the red herring regarding the police profiler was pretty obvious. Even though I was suspicious, the final twist was still very satisfying. Looking forward to the next book by this author. The last paragraph opens up the direction for the next story and leaves you waiting for more.
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  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you read that one book that makes you want to stay home from work lay by the pool and read all day and this is that book! Starting from the first page with two officers entering an old house and getting shot this book starts you on a thrill ride that will keep you flipping pages at a fever pitch. I absolutely loved this creepy thriller and loved Sayer. I highly recommend for anyone who likes a great suspenseful read that keeps you up all night!!!
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  • Jamie Canaves
    January 1, 1970
    Fictional Serial Killer for Fans of MINDHUNTERThis was a good, dark-ish serial killer novel that’s great for fans of procedurals. Especially if you like when they get into forensics and science, including social sciences. Sayer Altair is an FBI agent, but she’s also a neuroscientist currently working on studying the most violent killers’ brains when she’s taken away from her study to help find a serial killer. The case is bizarre, and there are tons of twists. It also focused much more on the FB Fictional Serial Killer for Fans of MINDHUNTERThis was a good, dark-ish serial killer novel that’s great for fans of procedurals. Especially if you like when they get into forensics and science, including social sciences. Sayer Altair is an FBI agent, but she’s also a neuroscientist currently working on studying the most violent killers’ brains when she’s taken away from her study to help find a serial killer. The case is bizarre, and there are tons of twists. It also focused much more on the FBI and victims and stayed away from glorifying/obsessing over the serial killer, which was a nice change. If this is the start of a series I’m definitely in since I really liked Altair (smart, driven, cares, is aware of her shortcomings) and would like to see more of her and her grandmother who raised her.--from Book Riot's Unusual Suspects newsletter: http://link.bookriot.com/view/56a8200...
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    I liked it, some of it was not very believable, and eye rolling, I guessed who the bad guy was pretty quickly. The ending kinda eluded to another book, it was very open ended so im sure I'll be reading this as a series soon
  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    Caged was quite the ride. Two kidnapped girls, the FBI, a pompous senator, a spunky grandma all rolled together for a satisfying read about an experiment to take people to the brink of death so they can see the other side. I enjoyed this novel and appreciate the publisher and NetGalley giving me the opportunity to be an early reader in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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