• Max Sinsheimer

SOLD! Children of Darkness and Light: The Lori Vallow Story (by Lori Hellis)

I'm pleased to announce the sale of my agency's first true crime book, Children of Darkness and Light: The Lori Vallow Story, by Lori Hellis, to Jessica Case at Pegasus Books.


Children of Darkness and Light is about a series of murders and suspicious deaths that have captured international attention. In late November 2019, concerned relatives who had not spoken in months to sixteen-year- old Tylee Ryan and seven-year-old JJ Vallow sent local police to an apartment in Rexburg, Idaho, to check on them. Their mother, Lori Vallow, was prepared with ready answers: the children were okay. Tylee had gotten her GED and was going to college; JJ was staying with a friend in Arizona. Neither story was true. Months later, the children’s mutilated bodies would be discovered in the backyard of the home belonging to their mother’s fifth husband, Chad Daybell.

Lori Vallow and her current husband, Chad Daybell, were arrested for the murder of Lori's children, Tyler and JJ. Lori’s third and fourth husbands, her brother, and Chad’s first wife have all also died under suspicious circumstances.

Children of Darkness and Light will follow the case from beginning to end, telling the story through interviews, court observation, legal analysis, and investigative records. Written in the style of Ann Rule, Jon Krakauer, and Nancy Rommelmann, Children of Darkness and Light will examine how a woman many described as a perfect mother became perfectly evil.


Lori Hellis (called "the good Lori" by her fans) is an author and retired criminal defense lawyer with 27 years of experience, a background in journalism, and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. In June 2020 Lori created a free weekly newsletter covering the legal issues in this case that now reaches thousands of international readers. Through her newsletter and popular YouTube and Reddit AMA appearances, Lori has gained a following as the go-to source for in-depth, but accessible coverage of arguably the most convoluted series of crimes in living memory. Lori is also close to members of the deceased’s family.


Here is the Publishers Marketplace deal memo:

This is my second book with Lori (her No-Nonsense Guide to Divorce will be published by Rowman & Littlefield next March), and my third book with Pegasus. I opened my agency about five years ago, and it is fun to be working on second and even third books with the same authors and editors!

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