Death Spiral: A Faith Flores Mystery

Death Spiral: A Faith Flores Mystery

by Janie Chodosh


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Death Spiral: A Faith Flores Mystery by Janie Chodosh

When loner Faith Flores finds her mother dead of an apparent overdose, she refuses to believe that’s the case. Sure, her mom made some bad decisions, but leaving her daughter would never be one of them. Unfortunately, the cops are all too eager to close the case and move on, sending a distraught and unsatisfied Faith to live with her Aunt T in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

But a note from Melinda, her mom’s junkie friend, prompts Faith to begin digging, igniting her passion in science and her need for answers. Faith soon discovers Melinda and her mother had participated in an experimental clinical trial to treat heroin addiction. Then Melinda also turns up dead from an apparent overdose.

Now Faith is pulling out all the stops in her search for truth, cutting school, lying to her aunt, her best friend, even the police. The only person she can’t lie to is new boy Jesse, whose brutal honesty is a welcome respite from the mountain of misinformation uncovered by her investigation.

Faith’s investigation takes her through the myriad back alleys and laboratories of Philly, all the way to one of the most powerful scientists in town. But when the medical examiner’s body is found in the Schuylkill River, Faith realizes if she doesn’t find who’s behind the sinister science and its cover-up, she could be next.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781929345007
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Series: Faith Flores Science Mysteries Series , #1
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Janie Chodosh is the author of "Death Spiral," the first book in the Faith Flores Science Mysteries and an upcoming book about conservation called, “Wisdom from the Field” (Skyhorse, 2018).

Like protagonist, Faith Flores, Janie Chodosh is a scientist wannabe and a naturalist. She lives in New Mexico and when not writing, she can be found somewhere in the outdoors. For more information visit

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Death Spiral: A Faith Flores Mystery 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Death Spiral, by Janie Chodosh is one of the best murder mysteries I've read in  while. I read murder mysteries a lot, and this is one of the few I've read where I don't figure out whodunit in the first fifteen pages. I've been telling all my friends to read it.  I read the first chapter to my friend over the phone, his exact words were "will you read this to me every night? It's really great." Death Spiral is a wonderful YA murder mystery that I'm suggesting to all my friends who enjoy this genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Janie Chodosh's Death Spiral is a gripping young adult novel that deals with death and grief and the strength to fight for what you believe. Her story follows 16 year old Faith Flores whose mother seemingly died of a heroin overdose and who against all odds, seeks to find the truth. Chodosh engages the reader with a world of mystery and intrigue. Faith is a likable and relatable character whose struggle is very real and her journey towards healing is inspiring. Chodosh understands the way teenagers interact and has a firm grasp on emotions and emotional turmoil. Though the plot is dark Chodosh's writing is mesmerizing with a subtle splash of humor to keep things interesting. The entire book keeps you on your toes with twists and turns around every corner. I am eager to read the next Faith Flores Science Mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Death Spiral is a  very well written book. Chodosh uses a lot of science but explains it in a scintillating way. She takes the character’s strongest characteristics and really brings them to life. The relationships between Faith, the main character, and her friends are so relatable that they allow you to really lose yourself in the story.  The book in a lot of ways is like Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain, one of my favorite books. Chodosh, like Crichton, makes up an illness that is plausible yet still gives the author wiggle room to use their imagination. Except for a few confusing typos, the book is very well written and I cannot wait for the next in the series. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LauraMHartman More than 1 year ago
Faith Flores on the surface is an angry, angst filled high school student. In reality, she is so much more. She recently moved in with her aunt after her mother’s apparent drug over dose death. For the first time in her life she lives in a home without roaches or drug paraphernalia, has good food instead of junk purchased from street vendors and a chance for a stable life with her aunt. How could this bright young woman possibly not see the opportunities now available to her? Everyone knows her mother was a heroin addict. Faith would bet her life that her mother was clean at the time of her death. She was in an experimental program that was helping her kick the habit. Why did the police find drugs at their apartment after her death? Faith is convinced it had something to do with the program her mom was on and is determined to prove that she did not die of a drug overdose, but from something gone terribly wrong with the treatments they were giving her. She grudgingly goes to school, even though she is bright and extraordinarily gifted in science, but has trouble focusing because she cannot help going over the events of her mother’s death. She makes a few unlikely friends. Anj , a very together girl that seems to do everything right. Her clothes, makeup, studies all scream college bound preppie, but she has taken a reluctant Faith under her wing.  Then there is the new boy, Jesse. Under the grunge exterior is a smart, quick-witted doctor’s son who is predestined to follow his father’s footsteps. Unexpected Faith gets a call from, Melinda, one of her mom’s junkie friends who is in the same experimental program that her mom was in. When Melinda turns up dead, Faith will risk her own life to expose the clinic’s responsibility in the two deaths. Afraid for the safety of her aunt and her two newfound friends, she pushes them away from her as she descends deeper into the illegal activities and the cover-up that she is discovering with her research. People involved with the clinic are turning up dead and Faith might be next.  Death Spiral is Janie Chodosh’s first novel and the first in her Faith Flores Science Mystery Series. Not only does this book appeal to the YA crowd, but adults will also enjoy the underlying tension as Faith tries to adjust to her new life without the mother she truly loved and how close she spirals away from all of the good aspects of her life forsaking them to go up against something much bigger than she imagined. This wonderfully written, fast paced mystery does not shove boring facts at the reader, but mixes them masterfully in. Chodosh takes on the genetics of addiction much like her characters would, it is obvious she has done her homework . Her author notes state she has …”strived to be scientifically accurate” as well as lists the things that are fiction. I love that she does that because readers are often left wondering which part, if any, is accurate. She also suggests learning more by visiting the Genetic Science Learning Center and their website. Faith could have easily been a character that the readers do not like. That is far from true. Her rough edges are merely there to keep herself and others from getting hurt. She is smart, tenacious and loyal. She will stand up well in the next books in Chodosh’s series. Copyright © 2014 Laura Hartman  DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.