Review // All We Buried by Elena Taylor

All We Buried Book Cover All We Buried
A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery, Book 1
Elena Taylor
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Crooked Lane Books
April 7, 2020
Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours

For fans of Julia Keller and Sheena Kamal, All We Buried disturbs the long-sleeping secrets of a small Washington State mountain town.

Interim sheriff Elizabeth "Bet" Rivers has always had one repeat nightmare: a shadowy figure throwing a suspicious object into her hometown lake in Collier, Washington. For the longest time, she chalked it up to an overactive imagination as a kid. Then the report arrives. In the woods of the Cascade mountain range, right in her jurisdiction, a body floats to the surface of Lake Collier. When the body is extricated and revealed, no one can identify Jane Doe. But someone must know the woman, so why aren't they coming forward?

Bet has been sitting as the interim sheriff of this tiny town in the ill-fitting shoes of her late father and predecessor. With the nightmare on her heels, Bet decided to build a life for herself in Los Angeles, but now it's time to confront the tragic history of Collier. The more she learns, the more Bet realizes she doesn't know the townspeople of Collier as well as she thought, and nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.

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I was very surprised by Elena Taylor’s All We Buried. Taylor’s novel started as a slow read for me taking some time to pick up speed. I wasn’t expecting it to start off guns blazing, but I did expect the momentum to be a bit more fast-paced. Now don’t get me wrong, it does start off with a murder fairly quickly in the reading it just took a bit to kick into full gear.

The ride with All We Buried is a calm build that develops a solid story through a growing investigation when a woman is found dead, floating in the local lake. Interim Sheriff, Bet Rivers, carries a calm demeanor through the read, but one can easily catch that she is not at all confident in the Sheriff’s role. As I first gained this view of Bet, the unsure daughter brought back home via her dying father’s wishes, I was more irritated than interested.

As I read on through the first few chapters my focus grew away from Bet to wanting to understand. Things were happening in the reading to help develop the story’s characters – the dead girl; the scientist, Peter; the ex-boyfriend, Eric; and Rob Collier, the man that basically owned a small portion of the town. Eventually, Bet found her rhythm and a bit of confidence, and from there the read was speeding through the fast lane.

Like I said, I was surprised. All We Buried snuck up on me and I loved it. Author Elena Taylor’s novel was a true mystery. Her story had great depth and each character offered a certain level of their own mystery that definitely kept me guessing at the whodunit. The weave of Bet, Eric, Rob, and their individual family secrets are the perfect foundation for a modern mystery as it brings them all closer than they could have ever imagined.

Thankfully the reading flowed easily. There was clear direction from start to finish and I never felt that the story jumped around. Flashbacks do help to develop the story, but they tie in well and help balance the understanding of the read. I was never lost in the reading when a transition happened or guessing what was going on with the writing.

And here is the honest part – I didn’t figure out who the killer was. I honestly thought it was the other guy! Good job! When it came time to really figure out whodunit, I liked Bet and didn’t want her to be hoodwinked. She got it though.

Final thoughts on All We Buried is that you just simply must read it. Or, listen to it. I actually did.  I read the first few chapters and listened to the rest, and in one day I devoured All We Buried. Elena Taylor is an author to watch for and I’m looking forward to the next read she shares with us.

Well-crafted…Taylor skillfully sets the scene, describing the distinctive local landscape [while] the introspective, conflicted Bet proves her mettle. Readers will look forward to her next outing.

Publishers Weekly

This spooky and suspenseful story should be a must-read for fans of Lisa Unger, J. A. Jance, and Julia Keller.


Extremely hard to put down…Would recommend this to anyone who loves mystery thrillers.

San Francisco Book Review

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Elena Taylor. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on September 1, 2020, and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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Author Elena Taylor
Photo Credit Mark Perlstein

Elena Taylor lives on the banks of the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in a town made famous by Twin Peaks. When she’s not writing or working one-on-one with writers as a developmental editor, she can be found hanging out with her husband, dog, and two cats. Her favorite place to be (besides home) is the stables down the road, with her two horses Radar and Jasper.

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