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Cut to the Bone

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A bus full of high school students has disappeared from Washington D.C. and FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair must hunt down the culprit who has a link to her own past. 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 A bus full of high school students has disappeared from Washington D.C. and FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair must hunt down the culprit who has a link to her own past. 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.


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A bus full of high school students has disappeared from Washington D.C. and FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair must hunt down the culprit who has a link to her own past. 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 A bus full of high school students has disappeared from Washington D.C. and FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair must hunt down the culprit who has a link to her own past. 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.

30 review for Cut to the Bone

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kaceey

    4.5* Do you have an obsession with serial killers? 🔪 Well, you know what I mean!?🤣💁🏻‍♀️ If yes ✅. This is a must read for you! Sayer is a neuroscientist working with the FBI. She’s struggling to move past the one-two punch of the death of her fiancé, and the ousting of her former boss, Holt. And just to heap more on this hot mess, Sayer clearly isn’t appreciated by the new boss, Director Anderson. Certainly no love lost between these two. Case in point…she’s just been handed a new case without the 4.5* Do you have an obsession with serial killers? 🔪 Well, you know what I mean!?🤣💁🏻‍♀️ If yes ✅. This is a must read for you! Sayer is a neuroscientist working with the FBI. She’s struggling to move past the one-two punch of the death of her fiancé, and the ousting of her former boss, Holt. And just to heap more on this hot mess, Sayer clearly isn’t appreciated by the new boss, Director Anderson. Certainly no love lost between these two. Case in point…she’s just been handed a new case without the luxury of a partner to assist. Gee, thanks chief! A local policeman and a teenage girl are both found dead. The girl appears to have been murdered with ritualistic symbols placed around her body. In the process of identifying the teen, Sayer realizes this victim was part of a group of 24 teens heading to Atlanta by bus for a STEM conference. Now that entire bus filled with high school students is missing! Can sayer work her magic and identify the killer before more kids are found murdered? This is book three of a series. Normally I hate to jump into a series, but this book easily stands on its own. I would have loved to have learned and experienced Sayers’ background, but thankfully the author provided enough insight so you never felt like you were missing a thing. Sayer was a strong protagonist and I loved her balance of work life with that of her family and friends. Her Nana is quite the character! I will definitely be reading the next in this series! This is one of the best serial killer themed books I’ve read in a very long time. A buddy read with Susanne that we devoured in just a few sittings! Thank you to Minotaur Books

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    A Crazy, Suspenseful, Pulse Pounding Thriller! When Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair gets the call, she rushes to the scene of a violent crime. The body of a teenage girl is found at the Einstein Memorial, along with the body of the Police Officer who interrupted the crime in progress. A short time later, it is discovered that a school bus full of high school students were abducted while on a class trip and that the murdered teenage girl was the first victim. It’s up to Agent Altair and her team A Crazy, Suspenseful, Pulse Pounding Thriller! When Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair gets the call, she rushes to the scene of a violent crime. The body of a teenage girl is found at the Einstein Memorial, along with the body of the Police Officer who interrupted the crime in progress. A short time later, it is discovered that a school bus full of high school students were abducted while on a class trip and that the murdered teenage girl was the first victim. It’s up to Agent Altair and her team at the FBI to connect the dots and race against the clock to save the teens from a vicious killer. Time however, is not on anyone’s side. “Cut to the Bone” is brilliantly plotted and frightening, with excellent characterizations. It is the 3rd novel in the Agent Sayer Altair series (and is my first read). An edge of your seat thriller, it kept me intrigued throughout. Kudos to Ellison Cooper for writing such a fabulous FBI thriller highlighting Egyptian history. I can’t wait to go back and read the other books in this series! This was a great buddy read with Kaceey! Thank you to Minotaur Books and Ellison Cooper for the arc. Published on Goodreads on 9.6.20.

  3. 5 out of 5

    JEN A

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. The release date for this book is 14 July 2020 This is a very timely psychological thriller. Growing up in the DC area, I found myself drawn to the setting of this book. Corruption in government is always on the back burner of everybody’s mind and this book had a unique way of addressing it. The premise of the book is poignant and I love that the multiple heroines in this novel are very stro I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. The release date for this book is 14 July 2020 This is a very timely psychological thriller. Growing up in the DC area, I found myself drawn to the setting of this book. Corruption in government is always on the back burner of everybody’s mind and this book had a unique way of addressing it. The premise of the book is poignant and I love that the multiple heroines in this novel are very strong women and girls. I would highly recommend this for anyone who loves a good psychological thriller.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    4.5 rounded up!! This is my first book by the author and I cannot wait to read the first two! Highly recommend! I love me a good book with a serial killer in it and this one was EXTRA cool because it had some really neat aspects to that I'd share, but I don't want to ruin the surprise! Do you like the TV show Bones (or the books that show was based off of)? Then you MUST read this book. It checked a lot of boxes for me. 1) Strong female lead 2) Events that were believeable 3) Lots of red herrings 4.5 rounded up!! This is my first book by the author and I cannot wait to read the first two! Highly recommend! I love me a good book with a serial killer in it and this one was EXTRA cool because it had some really neat aspects to that I'd share, but I don't want to ruin the surprise! Do you like the TV show Bones (or the books that show was based off of)? Then you MUST read this book. It checked a lot of boxes for me. 1) Strong female lead 2) Events that were believeable 3) Lots of red herrings 4) Fun characters and did I mention a serial killer? **The one thing that always makes me a little cautious about a serial killer book is how graphic it will be. I want to be scared, but I don't want to be so scared I can't sleep. This book plays it just right. Lastly, I think one of the most important aspects with any book, but particularly a thriller/mystery book is the ending. If 3/4 of the book is amazing and the ending blows - well, why did I waste my time? It's really rare for me to guess the ending (and I did with this one), but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book at all. I also thought the cliffhanger at the end was great and will absolutely have me hoping for July 2021 to get here quick, quick, quick, so I can read the next book! Thank you so much to Minotaur Books for the print copy, Netgalley and Ellison Cooper for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review. Review Date: 07/29/2020 Publication Date: 07/14/2020

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥

    FBI Agent Sayer Altair is finally moving forward after the death of her fiance, navigating office politics while rebuilding her career one day at a time. As a member of the Critical Incidence Response Group, she gets the call when a teenage girl's body is found at the base of the Einstein Memorial with an ax in her hand and a circle of nine baboon figurines surrounding her. A police officer that interrupted the ritualistic killer is dead. As the investigation kicks into gear, Agent Altair discov FBI Agent Sayer Altair is finally moving forward after the death of her fiance, navigating office politics while rebuilding her career one day at a time. As a member of the Critical Incidence Response Group, she gets the call when a teenage girl's body is found at the base of the Einstein Memorial with an ax in her hand and a circle of nine baboon figurines surrounding her. A police officer that interrupted the ritualistic killer is dead. As the investigation kicks into gear, Agent Altair discovers that twenty-four STEM high school students are missing along with their bus driver & adult chaperone. Is this girl one of the missing? The race for answers and to find the students before more are killed becomes top priority. Cut To The Bone is a twisted suspense thriller, the third book in the Agent Sayer Altair series. The author's skillful inclusion of backstory allows readers to jump into the series at this point without major missing pieces. Having said that, there's no doubt readers will benefit from the character development in the first two books. The story unfolds at a steady pace through a tangled web of conspiracy, dead-ends, and red herrings. Someone seems to be throwing up roadblocks to impede the investigation frustrating investigators. Altair is a smart, tenacious fully fleshed character with a high sense of morality. When shades of her past arise intertwining into the already complicated case, it becomes personal. I enjoyed the ancient Egyptian mythology incorporated into the story as its as intriguing as the diverse cast of characters. Series readers will recognize and enjoy some past characters that step up in this book. A fast-paced plot that twists and turns, unique characters, and engaging writing means an intriguing read for fans of police procedurals and suspense thrillers. Highly Recommended! *A special thank you to Minotaur Books for an arc of this book via Netgalley. Thank you Senior Marketing Mgr. Joseph Brosnan for a heads up on this book! **Reviewed at: Cross My Heart Reviews

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    A dark, riveting thriller featuring a great protagonist FBI Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair, who is also a renowned neuroscientist, is heading home for a party to celebrate her adopted daughter Adi when she gets the call. There are two dead in Washington, DC, and the situation looks suspicious. A young girl is dead in what looks like a ritualistic killing: her body left inside a circle of animal figurines, with a message written in blood. Sayer and her trusty FBI data analyst and computer w A dark, riveting thriller featuring a great protagonist FBI Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair, who is also a renowned neuroscientist, is heading home for a party to celebrate her adopted daughter Adi when she gets the call. There are two dead in Washington, DC, and the situation looks suspicious. A young girl is dead in what looks like a ritualistic killing: her body left inside a circle of animal figurines, with a message written in blood. Sayer and her trusty FBI data analyst and computer wizard, Ezra Coen, quickly realize that the girl is one of twenty-four missing high school students who are supposed to be at STEM conference states away. Sayer and Ezra are pulled rapidly into the case, where they find that nothing is as it seems. A series of fake leads derails them and soon Sayer begins to wonder if the murder has ties to her own past. She knows only one thing: this case is deadly. "It wasn't her job to accept the improbable, it was her job to unravel the mystery until it made perfect sense." I absolutely love the Sayer Altair series and book three didn't disappoint one bit. What is not to love about an incredibly intelligent kickass black FBI agent who takes no prisoners? While Sayer lost her FBI agent fiancé, Jake, several years ago--something she's still reeling from--she's now surrounded herself by her own makeshift family: Adi; her neighbor, Tino; and Ezra. And, of course, there's her witty and tough grandmother, Nana, who raised Sayer. Coming back to this crew as a reader feels like returning to family. Cooper excels at capturing each character's unique voice, and I'm so fond of them all. We even get an appearance from Sayer's former boss, Holt, who has been kicked out of the FBI in a scandal covered in the previous books. The mystery plot here is a really wild but totally engaging case. There are lots of references to Egypt and plenty to keep you on your toes. It is a tense and suspenseful tale and Cooper throws in plenty of well-timed twists and turns. The story turns personal for Sayer, and I was certainly riveted. Cooper writes in a quick, fast-paced style that makes it easy to keep flipping the pages. All the books in this series are dark, and this one is no exception. They are not especially for the faint of heart. A lot of death and gruesome descriptions. It is easy to see that Cooper, who has a Ph.D. in anthropology and worked as a murder investigator, knows her stuff. For me, the authenticity just makes the story pop off the pages even more. This book ends with a total boom for Sayer, and I cannot wait for the next installment. As I said, I love this series and adore Sayer and her little family. If you haven't read the entire series, I recommend starting with book one, but this one will standalone, especially if you love a twisty and engaging thriller. 4+ stars. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books in return for an unbiased review. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb

  7. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    I am a big fan of the Agent Sayer Altair series and Ellison Cooper sure started Cut to the Bone out with a bang! This is the third installment to the series, and I swear they just get better with every book she writes. Sayer does irritate me at times which is why I can't bring myself to rate this a full 5/5 stars, but they are all solid mysteries that surprise me which is exactly what happened with this one. I started out reading Cut to the Bone, and even though it starts out with plenty of acti I am a big fan of the Agent Sayer Altair series and Ellison Cooper sure started Cut to the Bone out with a bang! This is the third installment to the series, and I swear they just get better with every book she writes. Sayer does irritate me at times which is why I can't bring myself to rate this a full 5/5 stars, but they are all solid mysteries that surprise me which is exactly what happened with this one. I started out reading Cut to the Bone, and even though it starts out with plenty of action that continues throughout the entire novel, I decided to switch to the audio. Danielle Deadwyler is the narrator and I while I didn't LOVE her narration, she still does a good job with it. I also noticed she narrates all the books in the series so if you wanted to listen to all of them that might be a good way to do it, but I will probably just stick to reading them from now on. She tried to do different voices for each character and I just felt like she would lose herself and carry that tone into a different character which made for a weird listening experience. Cut to the Bone is perfect if you are looking for a fast-paced, chilling mystery and as always I loved the police procedural feel. This book felt like a mix of the TV shows Criminal Minds and Castle which I believe I have used to describe books one and two as well. I absolutely love that about them, and it makes for a very enjoyable reading experience. The chapters are all super short and quick, and that combined with the fast pace make this easily readable in one sitting. I had no idea what was going to happen and was completely surprised by the ending. While it is disturbing and chilling, Cut to the Bone isn't super gory so if you aren't into, say Karin Slaughter type gore, this would be a great series to check out. I wouldn't recommend reading them out of order because of the way they progress, so I would recommend starting with book one and binging them because that is what this series is perfect for. Overall this was definitely another win for me in the series and I will be over here looking forward to book four. The end gave me CHILLS, and I can't wait to see where Cooper takes the series next. Thank you to the publisher for my advance review copy via NetGalley. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    So good. This is exactly the kind of mystery/thriller I've been looking for. I didn't realize when I requested an ARC that it was the third book in a series, but the author gave enough back story during the book that it was never an issue. I now want to read the first books, though I know a little bit of how it all turns out. 10 second synopsis -- a busload of STEM high school kids is kidnapped and the perpetrator is seriously off the rails (with good psychology as to why, it turns out). An FBI a So good. This is exactly the kind of mystery/thriller I've been looking for. I didn't realize when I requested an ARC that it was the third book in a series, but the author gave enough back story during the book that it was never an issue. I now want to read the first books, though I know a little bit of how it all turns out. 10 second synopsis -- a busload of STEM high school kids is kidnapped and the perpetrator is seriously off the rails (with good psychology as to why, it turns out). An FBI agent who is an expert on brains and psychopathy leads a task force to try to save them. The main characters are all likeable, smart and interesting. The diversity is off the charts for all kinds of things (race, LGBTQ, one character has lost his legs...) but never in a tokenism way and they're all people I'd want to hang out with. They're just cool, well rounded characters. The story is suspenseful and deals with death and violence realistically but not in the cringe-worthy detail that some authors use. The star character is a smart woman who feels like a real person, and one I'd like to hang out with. It was nice that she was not either trope of gorgeous and perfect or so flawed it's a wonder she can get out of bed, which I've read too much of in recent years. It's also kind of cool that two different work dogs are main characters in a way (a therapy dog and a search and rescue dog), along with their handlers. Loved it, and I'm a new fan of this series and this author. I read a digital review copy of of this book for the purpose of review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aga Durka

    Cut to the Bone is the kind of mystery/suspense book I love the most. Not only there is a fast-paced plot with lots of twists and turns, but also the characters are diverse and with very interesting backstories. I read this book in only two sittings, and I loved every minute of it. Edge of my seat suspense, Egyptian history, police/FBI procedural, and some very disturbing mind games make this book a 5 stars read for me and I highly recommend it to anyone that loves this genre. Also, this is a th Cut to the Bone is the kind of mystery/suspense book I love the most. Not only there is a fast-paced plot with lots of twists and turns, but also the characters are diverse and with very interesting backstories. I read this book in only two sittings, and I loved every minute of it. Edge of my seat suspense, Egyptian history, police/FBI procedural, and some very disturbing mind games make this book a 5 stars read for me and I highly recommend it to anyone that loves this genre. Also, this is a third book in the series, and I highly encourage to read the first two books before this one in order to get the main character’s backstory. Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kat Dietrich

    Cut To The Bone by Ellison Cooper is the third in the FBI Special Agent Sayer Altair series. First, let me thank both Edelweiss and NetGalley, the publisher Minotaur Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Series Background: (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books) FBI Special Agent Sayer Altair is a neuroscientist, who, when not investigating murders, is researching the brains of psychopaths t Cut To The Bone by Ellison Cooper is the third in the FBI Special Agent Sayer Altair series. First, let me thank both Edelweiss and NetGalley, the publisher Minotaur Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Series Background: (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books) FBI Special Agent Sayer Altair is a neuroscientist, who, when not investigating murders, is researching the brains of psychopaths to determine if she can find a common link. She hopes to find something that may indicate that the same problem exists in all of them, and if found early enough, their predilections to murder may be averted.  One of her anonymous subjects is showing a special interest in Sayer.  She has also discovered that the FBI is hiding something that has to do with the death of her fiance, but can find no answers.  She is walking a fine line right now, as her last boss has been fired, and Sayer herself was discredited, but unexpected publicity showed her in a better light. My Synopsis: (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions) A girl's body is found at the base of  the Einstein Memorial in Washington DC.  She is surrounded by nine carved baboons.  Sayer is assigned to the case, but without any real back-up.  It seems that her new boss is still out to get her.  She puts together her own team consisting of Ezra, an Egyptology expert, Max and his canine buddy Kona, as well as Tino, and eventually her old boss. When the investigation leads Sayer to the kidnapping of a busload of students, and more dead bodies, she knows this is going downhill fast.  She only has so much time to find the rest of the students, and it seems she is being diverted at every turn.  It feels like someone is deliberately giving her false clues and sending her on wild goose chases. Sayer knows she is hanging onto her job by the skin of her teeth, and this case is almost designed to make her fail. Then, the past comes back to bite her. My Opinions: This is a great installment to the series.  Sayer Altair is a dedicated, determined, and intelligent character, who is also likable.  As well, the characters that surround her are the same.  I really recommend that these books are read in order, as there is some background information which is needed. Cooper's writing is smooth, and the bit about Egyptian mythology was very interesting, and not confusing.  It was another fast-paced book, and just a bit creepy.  I love the idea of one of her psychopaths helping her out. I loved the ending!  Can't wait for the next one.... For my complete review of this book and others (as well as author information), please visit my blog: http://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

  11. 4 out of 5

    I. B.

    This is a strange book for me to rate. Typically I don’t give 5 stars unless the book has shook me to the core, and although this book has not done that, it would be unfair to give it anything less than 5. Cooper checks off everything needed for a great book. I absolutely loved the incorporation of Egyptian history & afterlife in the case, it took the whole story up to a whole other notch. The characters were diverse, well rounded, and like able. Sayer had a fine crew of side characters to help This is a strange book for me to rate. Typically I don’t give 5 stars unless the book has shook me to the core, and although this book has not done that, it would be unfair to give it anything less than 5. Cooper checks off everything needed for a great book. I absolutely loved the incorporation of Egyptian history & afterlife in the case, it took the whole story up to a whole other notch. The characters were diverse, well rounded, and like able. Sayer had a fine crew of side characters to help her along. Agent Altair was level headed and smart, and her intuition was fascinating to follow. The story contains plot twists, corruption, and surprises at every chapter. I would recommend you pick it up!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura Rash

    An excellent addition to this series! Non stop action and an ending that will leave you blinking slowly, asking what is gonna happen next?? Thanks to Minotaur publishing for this early copy for review!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 4 STARS 2020; Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press Cut to the Bone, the third novel in the Agent Sayer Altair series, is my favourite of the series. It was so well written and exciting. I would read this series in order as this book brings one of the story arcs to sort of conclusion. AND, it also furthers another arc towards the end. There is a lot happening in this novel, with different characters telling the story. I like that you kind of get more of a wider view of the action. I am loving RATING: 4 STARS 2020; Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press Cut to the Bone, the third novel in the Agent Sayer Altair series, is my favourite of the series. It was so well written and exciting. I would read this series in order as this book brings one of the story arcs to sort of conclusion. AND, it also furthers another arc towards the end. There is a lot happening in this novel, with different characters telling the story. I like that you kind of get more of a wider view of the action. I am loving the characters, and the family that Altair is creating. I cannot wait till the next novel!! If you like Karin Slaughter, try this series. ***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mackey

    A cop and a teenage girl are dead, the girl found lying inside a circle of animal figurines below a cryptic message written in blood. She is one of twenty-four missing high school students, all science proteges who are now gone. Agent Sayer Altair is called in to investigate and soon she discovers a dark, twisted tie to her own past. It is now a race against time to save the remaining the students. When I was first offered Cut to the Bone, I never had heard of the author, Ellison Cooper. After r A cop and a teenage girl are dead, the girl found lying inside a circle of animal figurines below a cryptic message written in blood. She is one of twenty-four missing high school students, all science proteges who are now gone. Agent Sayer Altair is called in to investigate and soon she discovers a dark, twisted tie to her own past. It is now a race against time to save the remaining the students. When I was first offered Cut to the Bone, I never had heard of the author, Ellison Cooper. After reading this book, the third in the series, I immediately went back and purchased the first two to read. Yes, the series is that good! Let me first tell you 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. I tell you this because she brings every bit of that extensive knowledge into her writing. I was fact checking various things she had written left and right and finally quit because it was pointless. She’s brilliant. Her writing is brilliant. While the story line is fiction, the knowledge is real and it is fascinating! However, it isn’t just the intelligent writing that I loved – her characters are fantastic. They are real. They are quirky. They are full-bodied, not ever what you expect and ever evolving, growing and changing with every book, just as you would expect your friends to be in real life. I loved – and hated – them all! I read this series completely out of order as I could get the books but if you want to fully enjoy them I would suggest reading them order but I truly do encourage you to read this series. It’s fantastic! Thank you to @ecooperauthor #MinotaurBooks and #Edelweiss for my copy of this amazing book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sonica

    Thank you Minotaur Books for my copy of Cut to the Bone by Ellison Cooper in exchange for my honest review.  This title releases July 14, 2020. This is Book 3 in the Agent Sayer Altair police procedural series and my favourite so far (an I REALLY liked the first two - Book #1: Caged, Book #2: Buried).   The story follows FBI Special Agent Sayer Altair on her next quest to solve a deadly case when a bus load of high school kids gets highjacked and disappears but not before a group of this student a Thank you Minotaur Books for my copy of Cut to the Bone by Ellison Cooper in exchange for my honest review.  This title releases July 14, 2020. This is Book 3 in the Agent Sayer Altair police procedural series and my favourite so far (an I REALLY liked the first two - Book #1: Caged, Book #2: Buried).   The story follows FBI Special Agent Sayer Altair on her next quest to solve a deadly case when a bus load of high school kids gets highjacked and disappears but not before a group of this student are left for dead. Still grieving the loss of her fiancé, Sayer is trying to maintain her focus to solve this case but is growing tired at every wall she hits as all leads start taking different directions, leaving Sayer and her team frustrated but determined to reach the finish line with a suspect in tow. This book gave me chills yet I could not put down, no matter how twisted and creepy it got. Like the rest of this series, this 3rd instalment, the story played like a movie reel in my head while reading - think the movie SEVEN with Brad Pitt.  Cooper has mastered the craft of writing incredible police procedural thrillers and I am here to stay as a reader! Cooper's series is just the right amount of intensity for me for police procedural and I love how you feel like you are a part of the investigation with the characters.  The story was easy to follow, unlike some other police procedurals I have tried reading.  One character continues to make an appearance - full of mystery - Subject 37 and I almost fell off my chair while reading at the ending when Subject 37 makes his true debut.  The cliffhanging ending has me confident that there will be another instalment in this series and I CANNOT WAIT. I highly recommend adding this one to your reading list this summer if you enjoy crime fiction peppered with police drama and a dash of disturbing content (and if you haven't yet already - grab her first two books - they're just as good.

  16. 5 out of 5

    3 no 7

    Never kidnap kids on the way to a science competition. “Cut to the Bone” opens with the death of a police officer in Washington, DC; this will be a high-stakes case, one of those cases without a good outcome. When a second victim is found and the murders show some ritualistic nuances, FBI Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair, a neuroscientist for the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, is called. In a shocking turn of events, an entire busload of children traveling to a science compe Never kidnap kids on the way to a science competition. “Cut to the Bone” opens with the death of a police officer in Washington, DC; this will be a high-stakes case, one of those cases without a good outcome. When a second victim is found and the murders show some ritualistic nuances, FBI Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair, a neuroscientist for the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, is called. In a shocking turn of events, an entire busload of children traveling to a science competition is reported missing, kidnapped. The atmosphere is tense and frantic as the search for the children turns up only misdirection and false leads. The story unfolds in alternating points of view. Readers have an inside view of the elite FBI squad action strategy, sources, procedures, and readers also learn the FBI does not know. The children themselves take things into their own hands. They are observant, resourceful, and determined, far from timid. The action is conversation driven; both casual and friendly, but deadly serious when the situation dictates. The narrative sometimes goes back in time slightly to show just how people got to a particular event. “Cut to the Bone” is hard driving, fast paced, and intense. Help and answers come from an unexpected place, and those answers are shocking. However, there is a nice dog that can be counted on when things get bad physically and emotionally. I received a review copy of “Cut to the Bone” from Ellison Cooper, St Martin’s Press, and Minotaur Books. The pace is frantic, and the plot is powerful. Just when readers think things are over, there is a startling revelation that hints of what is to come next. I can hardly wait.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Thank you Minotaur books and Netgalley for a copy of Cut To The Bone by Ellison Cooper. Cut To The Bone is the third book in one of my absolute favourite series. Agent Sayer Altair is such a smart, badass lady and she always fights hard at great personal cost usually. The third book sees a whole bus full of high school students go missing and you know once you read that, you are in for a high stakes binge read! Content warnings for violence and fire

  18. 5 out of 5

    Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)

    An excellent and very thrilling edition to this series! Fans of the TV show Criminal Minds and Meg Gardiner's Unsub series will devour these books. The 3rd book in the series with Agent Sayer Altair is just as interesting as the first two. This time the actual murders are less gruesome, but there's an added element of conspiracy that made this fascinating reading. I love how much background information the author adds into each crime and character to truly bring the story to life. I cannot wait t An excellent and very thrilling edition to this series! Fans of the TV show Criminal Minds and Meg Gardiner's Unsub series will devour these books. The 3rd book in the series with Agent Sayer Altair is just as interesting as the first two. This time the actual murders are less gruesome, but there's an added element of conspiracy that made this fascinating reading. I love how much background information the author adds into each crime and character to truly bring the story to life. I cannot wait to read the 4th book! The only thing I disliked is the cliff hanger ending.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. In Ellison Cooper's Cut to When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. In Ellison Cooper's Cut to the Bone, a bus full of high school students has disappeared from Washington D.C. and FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair must hunt down the culprit who has a link to her own past. 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 into 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. I loved this book - it was so good!!! True story: I wanted to be an Egyptologist until I realized how I would spend the rest of my life covered in a heat rash and hives from the sun UNLESS I spent all my time underground. or in a library. Library it was! The book is a creepy mystery that will send chills up your spine - it is expertly crafted and if you did not get from what I wrote before, yes Egypt has a lot to do with the mystery of the missing girls. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌

  20. 5 out of 5

    Toya

    While I still very much enjoyed Cut to the Bone, this was my least favorite of the Sayer Altair series. Now when I say least favorite, it means that instead of being a full five stars it was a full four stars, so no side eyes over here. Just like with the previous two books, Cut to the Bone starts off with a bang. A dead girl has been discovered in a ritualistic type killing and she’s one of the 24 kidnapped high schoolers. This sends FBI agent Sayer Altair into high alert, and she is determined While I still very much enjoyed Cut to the Bone, this was my least favorite of the Sayer Altair series. Now when I say least favorite, it means that instead of being a full five stars it was a full four stars, so no side eyes over here. Just like with the previous two books, Cut to the Bone starts off with a bang. A dead girl has been discovered in a ritualistic type killing and she’s one of the 24 kidnapped high schoolers. This sends FBI agent Sayer Altair into high alert, and she is determined to find these kids before the body count starts racking up. I love that Ellison Cooper writes these incredibly immersive, high stakes thrillers that leave you hanging off of every page. Additionally, the science is just so spot on. I can’t stand when authors use fake scientific terms or uses terms inappropriately. Sayer and her team become even closer in this book. And it is clear that they operate better as a single unit versus separate entities. I used to be mainly team Sayer, but I couldn’t imagine a situation where Ezra, Max, and Holt weren’t also involved. I enjoyed the Egyptology storyline. It brought something I wasn’t expecting from the aspect of the serial killer. What kept this book from being a full five stars from me was the unexpected conspiracy turn that we took. I didn’t hate it per se, but the serial killer storyline took a backseat, which wasn’t really for me. This book ends on one hell of a cliff hanger, so there better be a book four. I need more Sayer Altair in my life. Thank you to Macmillan Audio for the advanced listening copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mandy McHugh

    Rarely do I jump into the middle of a series without having read the first books. It's hard to properly invest in characters when there are usually allusions to back story you're not privy to. Sometimes, it pays off. I found Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series this way, and with the glowing reviews and Minotaur's stellar track record, this premise caught my eye. I decided to give Sayer Altair's world a go. So glad I did. Sayer grieves her fiance but finds solace in her family and work. When she receives Rarely do I jump into the middle of a series without having read the first books. It's hard to properly invest in characters when there are usually allusions to back story you're not privy to. Sometimes, it pays off. I found Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series this way, and with the glowing reviews and Minotaur's stellar track record, this premise caught my eye. I decided to give Sayer Altair's world a go. So glad I did. Sayer grieves her fiance but finds solace in her family and work. When she receives a call that an officer was killed over a young girl's ritualistic murder, Sayer is thrust into a twisting investigation involving a bus load of missing students, ancient Egyptology, and a deep-seated government conspiracy. Cut to the Bone was like reading the Da Vinci Code meets 24, but with a badass FBI agent who knows how to fight taking the lead. Everything about this book worked, from the expertly-paced plot, to the high-stakes case, to the complex world of Egyptian belief systems and their entanglement with DC architecture and history. It feels like a lot to lay out, and really, there is a lot going on in this book, but in the best possible way. Sayer is a wonderful MC with lots of relate-ability. Nuanced, developed, and conflicted, she's a beacon of morality for her team (which is equally nuanced and well-developed) and there wasn't a point where I rooted against her or expected her to fail. That's not to say this is predictable. While there were some familiar military/political tropes, this felt like a fresh take. Even when I put the pieces together, I enjoyed reading how the events unfolded, and I wanted more. One of my favorite aspects was her relationship with an anonymous nonviolent psychopath, a mysterious high-powered DC man with a fixation/obsession on Sayer. He's dangerous, but not lethal. He's definitely a psychopath, and he watches out for her not out of caring--something Sayer stresses he's not capable of, as psychopaths don't experience feelings in the same way--but out of the thrill of the game, the fascination of how she'll react to his prompts. While their interactions were sparse, this brought an extra edge to the narrative that I found deliciously enticing. I also appreciated the few chapters with the brilliant high school STEM students. Using their knowledge, they weren't simply bland, flat side characters waiting to be rescued. They were intelligent individuals, capable of taking action and caring for each other. I enjoyed this dynamic greatly, as too often the kidnapped become characterized as helpless. Yes, they were in danger, but they accepted this fate and decided to fight. Not something you see too often when the detective is the primary focus, but no character felt flat or unimportant. Cooper's writing is accessible, clean, and flows well, making it easy to pick this book up and lose track of hours. Thrilling, fast-paced, and dynamic, Cut to the Bone is a successful series entry, but also so well executed that you can pick this up as a standalone without being lost in translation. 10/10 recommend, and I look forward to reading the earlier books. Big thanks to Minotaur/St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Chilling, suspenseful, and fast-paced! In this riveting third installment in the Agent Sayer Altair series, Cut to the Bone, Cooper has written an unpredictable, sharp, sinuous thriller that takes you on a hunt for a dangerous, mass kidnapper and deranged serial killer who seems to have a fascination with Ancient Egypt, the afterlife, and Washington architecture. The prose is crisp and precise. The characters are bold, intelligent, and driven. And the plot is an absorbing, tortuous tale full of tw Chilling, suspenseful, and fast-paced! In this riveting third installment in the Agent Sayer Altair series, Cut to the Bone, Cooper has written an unpredictable, sharp, sinuous thriller that takes you on a hunt for a dangerous, mass kidnapper and deranged serial killer who seems to have a fascination with Ancient Egypt, the afterlife, and Washington architecture. The prose is crisp and precise. The characters are bold, intelligent, and driven. And the plot is an absorbing, tortuous tale full of twists, turns, intrigue, surprises, misinformation, cosmogony, symbolic references, red herrings, violence, and murder. Overall, Cut to the Bone is a sharp, engrossing, intricate tale that keeps you guessing from the very first page and leaves you unsettled, entertained, and highly satisfied. Thank you to St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tonstant Weader

    Cut to the Bone is the third book in the Sayer Altair series, but the first for me. It begins with a double murder, that of a cop who stumbled on the killer while he laid his first victim out at the Einstein memorial with an ax in her hand and nine baboons around her. Sayer is assigned to the case and quickly realizes this may be a serial killer. Before long, they discover the victim is a high school student who was on a school trip with several other kids and the entire busload of kids are miss Cut to the Bone is the third book in the Sayer Altair series, but the first for me. It begins with a double murder, that of a cop who stumbled on the killer while he laid his first victim out at the Einstein memorial with an ax in her hand and nine baboons around her. Sayer is assigned to the case and quickly realizes this may be a serial killer. Before long, they discover the victim is a high school student who was on a school trip with several other kids and the entire busload of kids are missing. To add to the suspense, someone is following Sayer and there is a mole leaking information from the investigation. That’s a lot to handle, but it seems she has some unseen allies. I liked Cut to the Bone and it kept me up to the wee hours. The mystery is fair and we figure things out as Sayer does, though the great aha! about the identity of the killer was one I figured out a couple chapters before Sayer and I did feel some impatience, but then, I am on the outside, not feeling the pressure to produce. This makes me want to read the first two and since it ends with a revelation unrelated to this particular mystery, I am eager to read the next. The soonest possible. Cut to the Bone will be released on July 14th. I received an e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley. Cut to the Bone at Minotaur Books | St. Martin’s Press | Macmillan Ellison Cooper author site https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpre...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    A bus full of students has vanished. An FBI neuroscientist is now on the manhunt with an investigation that has a direct connection to her past. Oh, what tangled webs we weave, especially in DC in which a kidnapper has taken the girls off the bus. The clock ticks and time is now the enemy in locating these girls safely. When the smoke clears 13 are killed and 24 kidnapped but worse is the fact that it might just be an inside job. What connection does Sayer's past life have with this killer/kidnapper A bus full of students has vanished. An FBI neuroscientist is now on the manhunt with an investigation that has a direct connection to her past. Oh, what tangled webs we weave, especially in DC in which a kidnapper has taken the girls off the bus. The clock ticks and time is now the enemy in locating these girls safely. When the smoke clears 13 are killed and 24 kidnapped but worse is the fact that it might just be an inside job. What connection does Sayer's past life have with this killer/kidnapper? Can she protect these teens at all costs? Will the wheels of justice come around or will more lives need to be lost? This was a well written and completely mind blowing work that will leave you breathless. Every minute you feel like you're in the fight to win against the evil that lurks all around, yet the enemy is hidden. It's that notion that you can't see it but must process and deal with it that's creates a new level of frightening motives. What if this was an inside job? Could someone from her past be seeking revenge? The ending on this was shocking as one by one the dominoes began to fall and the fake identities became revealed. A must read thriller for 2020!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ash

    This book is SO GOOD. Ellison Cooper is SO GOOD. Sayer Altair is one smart, tough and kick butt character and I think I want to be her in my next life. Cut to the Bone is the third book in the Sayer Altair series and my favourite one so far. Sayer is a special agent with the FBI and uses her work in neurology to help identify and track down serial killers. This time around bus load of high school students has been kidnapped and the girls are starting to show up dead around Washington DC. As Saye This book is SO GOOD. Ellison Cooper is SO GOOD. Sayer Altair is one smart, tough and kick butt character and I think I want to be her in my next life. Cut to the Bone is the third book in the Sayer Altair series and my favourite one so far. Sayer is a special agent with the FBI and uses her work in neurology to help identify and track down serial killers. This time around bus load of high school students has been kidnapped and the girls are starting to show up dead around Washington DC. As Sayer and her team search for the girls and the abductor/murderer the are faced with obstacle after obstacle. It's almost like someone is purposely trying to stop them from finding the killer. And um, the last paragraph.....are you kidding me?!! When is book 4 coming out? Seriously. If you like smart thrillers and you haven't read this series, you need to get your hands on them. 5 Stars A huge Thank You to #Netgalley and @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooks for an advanced copy of #CuttotheBone

  26. 4 out of 5

    A.L. Goulden

    This book moved fast, like an episode of Criminal Minds mashed into a Dan Brown novel. A killer has highjacked a bus full of high school students in Washington DC and is placing their dead bodies around monuments in disturbing, cryptic ways. The book follows FBI agent and neuroscientist, Sayer Altair, as she deciphers clues with her team that relate to Egyptology while she uses her knowledge of sociopathic behavior to track the killer’s next move. This is not a character-driven book but the chara This book moved fast, like an episode of Criminal Minds mashed into a Dan Brown novel. A killer has highjacked a bus full of high school students in Washington DC and is placing their dead bodies around monuments in disturbing, cryptic ways. The book follows FBI agent and neuroscientist, Sayer Altair, as she deciphers clues with her team that relate to Egyptology while she uses her knowledge of sociopathic behavior to track the killer’s next move. This is not a character-driven book but the characters are fun and probably within the whole series quite complex. You never really slow down to get more than a few short bits of info about her family, her love of motorcycles, or the loss of her boyfriend that was clearly the plot of a previous novel (spoiler I guess) but it has all the hallmarks of a procedural tv series where the cast evolves over a longer span of time. The DC location provides a wealth of nerdy subjects that readers can geek-out on over the course of the series so I can see this being extremely satisfying and successful for fans of this type of book. While the hints of past books do make me curious about those crime-solving puzzles, I’m personally not into reading procedurals. On the mystery itself in Cut to the Bone, I am a huge lover of all things Egypt, so that’s why I chose the book. I did learn some new details about the Amduat, a famous ancient book on the afterlife, I became frustrated with the typical investigative dead-ends that I knew were dead-ends (it’s only halfway through the book… so of course we’re not going to find the kidnapped girls) but I really loved the alternating chapters that went to the teens on the bus in a warehouse. Something about being with the kidnapped subjects always takes me back to Silence of the Lambs. You know the FBI agents are on the hunt and each time they open a door you’re hoping the two POV worlds you’re flipping between join one narrative and they are saved… That anticipation is what keeps you hooked. This was a fun read with a twisty ending that was satisfying although not ground-breaking. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves data-driven procedurals with a strong and diverse cast from all nationalities, physical abilities, and mental classifications. There are heroes of every stripe in here.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    This intelligent mystery features the highly likeable FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair. A bus filled with 24 D.C.-area high school students disappears into thin air an hour after it sets out for a tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, and Agent Altair is called in to locate the missing students. She is drawn into the absorbing case filled with red herrings and where nothing is as it appears. In addition to the solid and clever mystery with a highly satusfying resolution, Cut to the Bone contains numero This intelligent mystery features the highly likeable FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair. A bus filled with 24 D.C.-area high school students disappears into thin air an hour after it sets out for a tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, and Agent Altair is called in to locate the missing students. She is drawn into the absorbing case filled with red herrings and where nothing is as it appears. In addition to the solid and clever mystery with a highly satusfying resolution, Cut to the Bone contains numerous architectural facts and details about Washington, D.C., the incorporation of Egyptian symbolism throughout the U.S. capital, and details about little-known historical locales in the city. An added benefit to the book is a fabulous cast of supporting characters and a solid balance between the mystery and Altair’s personal life. This unique mystery will appeal to anyone who likes a well-written and clever tale. Listen to my podcast at https://www.thoughtsfromapage.com for fun author interviews. For more book reviews, check out my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/thoughtsfro....

  28. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    "Life and death. Sorrow and joy. Loneliness and love. Those are the endless cycles..." While SSA Sayer Altair, a neuroscientist, is working on her research into the brains of psychopaths and rebuilding her life, she's called back to field duty for the FBI when a bus carrying 24 high school students, the driver, and a chaperone, disappears on the way to a STEM competition. In addition, police have discovered what looks like the ritual murder of a young girl at the foot of the Einstein statue by th "Life and death. Sorrow and joy. Loneliness and love. Those are the endless cycles..." While SSA Sayer Altair, a neuroscientist, is working on her research into the brains of psychopaths and rebuilding her life, she's called back to field duty for the FBI when a bus carrying 24 high school students, the driver, and a chaperone, disappears on the way to a STEM competition. In addition, police have discovered what looks like the ritual murder of a young girl at the foot of the Einstein statue by the National Academy of Sciences. This looks like the work of a serial killer but seems to have some very unusual elements including a connection to the Egyptian underworld and a specific ancient monograph, the "Amduat." Nonstop action, a compelling plot and fascinating characters bring this third book in the series to another heart-stopping conclusion that has me already crying for the next installment. NO SPOILERS. I am crazy about this series. Just when you think you know where it's going -- FULL STOP shock. There are so many twists and turns along the way that it will make your head spin. I find these impossible to put down, evidenced by me reading the first three books in a matter of as many days. It certainly doesn't help that this one also ends in a cliffhanger! Now, I have to wait a long time before book #4 in what I hope will be a long-running series. I like so many things about the setting, the relationships between the characters, and the intricate narrative. The details the author gives about ancient civilizations are appropriate to the story and quite interesting. Definitely for any fan of the crime thriller. More, please. Now. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this e-book ARC to read, review and recommend.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary Reagan Richardson (mary_reagans_books)

    I SWEAR EVERY BOOK GETS BETTER Book #3 covers a case where a girl is ritualistically murdered and posed in DC. Agent Sayer Altair is lead on the case and this one is way bigger than she ever thought... Ellison Cooper is a master at what she does. Her symbolism and case building is phenomenal. Sayer is one of my all time favorite characters ever. I love that characters present in book 1 and book 2 converged in this book. The series plot moved so much in this book and I was so surprised. I loved lo I SWEAR EVERY BOOK GETS BETTER Book #3 covers a case where a girl is ritualistically murdered and posed in DC. Agent Sayer Altair is lead on the case and this one is way bigger than she ever thought... Ellison Cooper is a master at what she does. Her symbolism and case building is phenomenal. Sayer is one of my all time favorite characters ever. I love that characters present in book 1 and book 2 converged in this book. The series plot moved so much in this book and I was so surprised. I loved loved loved this story. I can't say enough good things. The cultural and anthropological clues and rituals included in this book were unbelievable. The research required for these books is unprecedented and I am beyond impressed every time. I need a new Sayer Altair book ASAP!! Everyone should read this series!!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maxine

    A police officer is murdered while on the phone to a police dispatcher as he reported spotting someone painting graffiti on the Einstein memorial in DC. FBI agent Sayer Altair is called into investigate when the body of a young girl is discovered surrounded by nine baboon figurines near the officer. And if this bizarre discovery isn’t terrible enough, it is soon discovered that she was part of a student group heading to Georgia Tech for a science and technology conference and the bus has disappe A police officer is murdered while on the phone to a police dispatcher as he reported spotting someone painting graffiti on the Einstein memorial in DC. FBI agent Sayer Altair is called into investigate when the body of a young girl is discovered surrounded by nine baboon figurines near the officer. And if this bizarre discovery isn’t terrible enough, it is soon discovered that she was part of a student group heading to Georgia Tech for a science and technology conference and the bus has disappeared along with the rest of the students, the driver, and chaperone. Cut to the Bone is the third entry in the Agent Sayer Altair series by author Ellison Cooper but the first one I have read. There are several references to the previous books and, although, for the most part, these references weren’t hugely relevant to the book, this did disrupt the flow of the story a bit. Still, the storyline moves at a fairly fast pace and I quite enjoyed it despite this. The story also requires a rather hefty suspension of disbelief but Sayer is a strong enough protagonist and the plot compelling enough that it was easy to put this aside and just go with it. The storyline is wrapped up here with no apparent loose ends but there is a hint at the end that there will be at least one more book in the series. Overall, a fun fast read. Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review

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