The Doomsday Mother

Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 18 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 01 Feb 2022

Description

In The Doomsday Mother, bestselling true crime author John Glatt tells the twisted tale of Lori Vallow, accused of having her two children murdered to start a new life with her new husband, doomsday prepper Chad Daybell.

At first, the residents of Kauai Beach Resort took little notice of their new neighbors. The glamorous blonde and her tall husband fit the image of the ritzy gated community. The couple seemed to keep to themselves—until the police knocked on their door with a search warrant. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell had fled to Hawaii in the midst of being investigated for the disappearance of Lori’s children back in Idaho—Tylee and JJ—who hadn’t been seen alive in five months.

For years, Lori Vallow had been devoted to her children and her Mormon faith. But when her path crossed with Chad Daybell, a religious zealot who taught his followers how to prepare for the end-times, the tumultuous relationship transformed her into someone unrecognizable. As authorities searched for Lori’s children, they uncovered more suspicious deaths with links to both Lori and Chad, including the death of Lori’s third and fourth husbands, her brother, and Chad’s wife. In June 2020, the gruesome remains of JJ and Tylee were discovered on Chad’s property, and the newlyweds were arrested and charged with murder. And in a shocking development, horrifying statements revealed that the couple’s fanatical beliefs had convinced them the children had become zombies--a belief that may have led to their deaths.

Bestselling author and journalist John Glatt takes readers deeper into the devastating story of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell in an attempt to unravel the lethal relationship of this doomsday couple.

In The Doomsday Mother, bestselling true crime author John Glatt tells the twisted tale of Lori Vallow, accused of having her two children murdered to start a new life with her new husband, doomsday...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781250276674
PRICE $28.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 101 members


Featured Reviews

I had heard of this case but I did not know the details.
This book provided a thorough account of the terrible and absolutely heinous crimes the people are accused of.
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

Excellent writing. Stayed with it, skipped dinner. I was not acquainted with John Glatt's writing but now I know he is a professional. The story of this woman and the culture she lives in is alarming and frightening. Is there an element in the LDS church that encourages one's perception that they are getting direct communication from God? That God can speak and tell you what to do? I don't know if blame can be laid there. Apparently, according to the book, many members warned the protagonist that she was going too far with her belief system.
The media was full of her name some months ago and for that avalanche alone I avoided learning what the case was all about. But you will learn it all from this book and it really makes you wonder, how can people who think like this function every day?
Really liked the quality of this book, which very wisely abstains from comments, judgements and exclamation marks. Doesn't need to use those. The way the author divulges the details does the trick.

Was this review helpful?

Considering this case is still ongoing, this true crime account was pretty detailed and thorough. The Vallow/Daybell case is fascinating and heartbreaking, and I felt Glatt did a good job capturing that.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the free e-copy.

Was this review helpful?

I really wanted to read this true crime story, because I remember when J.J. and Tylee went missing and it made national headlines (2019 seems like a lifetime ago, but I guess it wasn’t). It seemed so crazy at the time, probably because it was. Then the pandemic started, their cases were delayed, and after they found the kids’ bodies, I pretty much stopped paying attention. This is a super-detailed timeline that really lays the case out in an interesting and easy way. It also delves into Chad and Lori’s lives, and how they ended up the way they did. We’ll get to why I’m only giving it 3.5 stars at the end…

For anyone not familiar with the story, Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell met at a loosely-Mormon conference (I say loosely, because the Mormon church wants nothing to do with this, and I’m pretty sure it resembles nothing that these two believed). Soon, their spouses are dead, two of Lori’s children are missing, and they’ve moved from Idaho to Hawaii to get married and start a new life. After months of the grandparents asking where the kids are, police in Idaho give Lori five days to produce them. When she doesn’t comply, she is extradited back, where she and Chad were charged with a multitude of crimes, including killing J.J. and Tylee, and burying them in the pet cemetery behind Chad’s house.

There was so much more to the story that I didn’t realize, like the kinds of things Chad and Lori believed. They believed they’d been married in multiple lives, but the apocalypse was near and God brought them together to lead 144,000 to salvation. They believed people had either light or dark energies, and dark energies were “zombies” that needed to be released from Earth. Lori believed that she actually was a god, and that she was immortal. She claimed to not need to eat or go to the bathroom (the old Kim Jong Un defense) and believed she couldn’t be killed. She also believed in Chad’s many books about the apocalypse and conspiracy theories. There is so much more in the book - you’ll be blown away!

Religion played a huge part in all of this, but again, I wouldn’t say they were typical LDS members by any means. Many of their beliefs sounded more like Scientology - souls trapped on the planet, energies surrounding everyone, being eternally bound to your faith, etc. I believe that each of their strict religious backgrounds certainly didn’t help matters, but I think, especially with Lori, this is severe mental illness. Schizophrenia, or some type of narcissistic personality disorder? I’m not a doctor so I can’t say, but it’s quite rare that only attending a relatively mainstream church would push people to these extremes.

This stuff was all fascinating, and made for a great read that I was going to give 4.5 stars. I was afraid it would be dry, but the only place it was dry was the beginning, going through Lori and Chad’s lives. She had some issues; I lost count of how many kids she had and adopted, and Chad is her fifth husband. Chad also has five children, and Lori’s family history is full of unstable people, many siblings, and they had too many friends/followers to count. These people were all important to the plot (and quite a few ended up dead), so by the end, I didn’t mind going through all of the relationships to see how everything correlated.

The reason it only gets 3.5 stars (rounded up because this was better than I thought it would be) is because this isn’t over yet! I thought maybe I missed their sentences in pandemic news, but sentencing hasn’t happened; they are both still incarcerated pending further legal action. She was found unfit to stand trial and is in what they used to call “a prison for the criminally insane” (sorry, I don’t know the current terminology but I’m sure it’s not that). Chad is still behind bars, awaiting trial. There should be some sort of outcome this year, at least in his case, so I don’t understand the rush to publication. I’m glad the book was written, but in a year or two, half of the ending might be obsolete (this book comes out in two days). I wasn’t pleased by that, but otherwise, this was a fascinating look at this horrific case.

(Thank you to St. Martin’s Press, John Glatt, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review.)

Was this review helpful?

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley for review and all thoughts and opinions are my own..
This is one of the most disturbing true crime cases the United States has ever encountered. Many sought more information from newscasters and podcasts as the search for the children continued month after month. Hope waned. In this tell all book, the spiders web is unravelled and the full story becomes cohesive. The trial is yet to come, due to the pandemic, it has been delayed. For anyone who has been following along, this book fills in the gaps. Well written and clearly portrayed picture of Chad and Lori Daybell. This is the second of books I've read by the author and won't be the last, I hope.

Was this review helpful?

I was fascinated by this case when it was national news so a chance to have an insiders perspective was something I wasn’t going to pass up. And this read like a 3 part episode of Law & Order SVU and I am here for it! It took me a few to get all the characters straight in my head, but once I did it was go time!
Lori Vallow was a devout member of the church of Latter Day Saints and gets taken into a doomsday cult by the leader, Chad Daybell. The problem was, they both had families standing in their way of being able to be together. I got taken in by the cult, murder for hire and the denial that anything was wrong and their very extensive lifestyle that they were living all the while covering up what was really going on.
This was well researched and well written. The subject matter is tough to swallow, but that’s because it’s hard to imagine humans being so wrapped up in something that they forsake everything else, but that is the reality here. Truth is stranger than fiction.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for this arc in exchange for my review.
Publication date: January 18, 2022

Was this review helpful?

Settle in for a long, fascinating read. T
If this was a fiction book, I'd say it was too crazy...to out there...
And yet, here we are, it's a true story and sad in every sense of the word.
This book really delves into the histories of the people that make up this horrific, timely, true crime story.
Very well done.
Pick it up when you've got nothing purposeful to do, because once you get started, you won't be able to put it down..

Was this review helpful?

I don't usually read non fiction books, but I had read in media about the missing children and the massive search to find them, they were found and it was such a sad story that I was intrigued to find out more. This book certainly covers a lot of history about what happened. Lori Vallow would probably never win any mother of the year awards, she is very vain and self serving, using her children at times to get back at anyone she feels has wronged her. She's onto her fifth marriage at the beginning of the book, a beach side one in Hawaii, her two kids, Tylee and JJ were missing at that point and she did not appear concerned about them. Ex husband number three was the father of Tylee and him and Lori had a very nasty fight over custody of her. Lori even had Tylee accuse her father of molesting her, causing the police to investigate. Lori also made it very difficult for him to see Tylee, moving to Hawaii at one point. Lori is a Mormon a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS). She eventually becomes involved with an offshoot of the LDS that believe the end is near, there will be a cataclysmic earthquake that will wipe out large parts of the USA. Chad Daybell is a prominent author of this type of thinking and considers himself a god, someone who can see spirits and tell if someone has a dark or light spirit in them. Lori and Chad (her fifth husband) eventually get together but at the expense of almost everyone that was close to them. A very heart wrenching story very well told. I only wish that the author had waited until the trial had taken place to include that outcome, otherwise I recommend. Thank you to #Netgalley and #St Martin's Press for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Fantastic book about Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell! Wonderfully written and a fast read. I read it in 2 days after getting an ARC copy. I love John Glatt's books! I just can't imagine what made Lori go off the rails. (Of coarse,I'd be off the rails if I had been married 5 times,too. ;) ) I'm anxious to hear about the upcoming trial of Lori and Chad. It should be interesting! #thedoomsdaymother #netgalley #johnglatt

Was this review helpful?

Weird story, however author was able to break it down easily. Excellent book.

Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
I've been following the Lori Vallow/ Chad Daybell case from the beginning and it's definitely a strange and complicated case. There are so many people involved and I had been confused about that but John Glatt breaks this case down very well.
It will be interesting to see what finally becomes of this case and if justice for Tammy, and especially JJ and Tylee, is ever served. As a resident of the county where Chad Daybell's trial will supposedly be held, (in another year 🙄) I know I wouldn't be picked for the jury but oh man, I'd love to be in the galley.

Was this review helpful?

This true crime event reads like a mind boggling fiction novel. It was so engaging and easy to read. I needed to know what happened next in the lives of these people who had extreme beliefs. This is a book for cult readers and true crime junkies alike.

It followed the lives of Lori Vallow and Chris Daybell separately and then joins the story when they meet. I liked how we got to know each one individually. It was interesting to see how life lead them to that point with each other and other people in their lives. I found the topic fascinating as I had when it aired on TV and I am glad to have all the facts now.

I received an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Doomsday Mother is a 10 star book! A chilling, gripping true crime book that is full of suspense. John Glatt carefully and concisely lays out the events that unfold to reveal the horror and evil occurring, which makes it easy for the reader to follow with breathtaking anticipation . This is truly a book that you will want to read in one sitting.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the privilege of reading a page-turner.

Was this review helpful?

I am always fascinated with the psychology behind the crime, and what makes people commit heinous acts. This book goes behind the scenes describing the lives of Lori and Chad and how that led up the murders. With so much false information and doomsday cults in our present day society, this book sheds a light on the insanity of off the wall beliefs. The story kept me reading until the end, shaking my head trying to understand how beliefs can spiral out of control.

Was this review helpful?

Free ARC from Net Galley.

TERRIBLE CRIME, but wonderful story?

Just sad all around with greed, death, crazy religion and innocent kids. Layers upon layers in great detail, worth your time since it has been largely forgotten in the so-called pandemic. READ THIS book carefully and hug your kids and clean our hearts!!

Was this review helpful?

This is the bizarre but true story of the couple who fled to Hawaii when authorities were demanding that they produce the two children that were in their care. It was on the news quite a bit, and I was curious to read this book to see if it has more information about the story. The strange doomsday beliefs were hard to fathom and when it came out that there were several deaths around this pair, Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell, things got even stranger. I’m glad they finally got caught and the truth will all eventually come out, I hope. You can’t help but feel for the two kids whose disappearance triggered the investigation, Tylee and JJ. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

Publication date: January 18, 2022

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own and may be affected by the fact that it is snowy, windy and cold outside and we are in lockdown version 5.0, and I have nothing better to do than read three or more books a day??.

In The Doomsday Mother, bestselling true crime author John Glatt tells the twisted tale of Lori Vallow, accused of having her two children murdered to start a new life with her new husband, doomsday prepper Chad Daybell.

At first, the residents of Kauai Beach Resort took little notice of their new neighbours. The glamorous blonde and her tall husband fit the image of the ritzy gated community. The couple seemed to keep to themselves—until the police knocked on their door with a search warrant. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell had fled to Hawaii in the midst of being investigated for the disappearance of Lori’s children back in Idaho—Tylee and JJ—who hadn’t been seen alive in five months.

For years, Lori Vallow had been devoted to her children and her Mormon faith. But when her path crossed with Chad Daybell, a religious zealot who taught his followers how to prepare for the end-times, the tumultuous relationship transformed her into someone unrecognizable. As authorities searched for Lori’s children, they uncovered more suspicious deaths with links to both Lori and Chad, including the death of Lori’s third and fourth husbands, her brother, and Chad’s wife. In June 2020, the gruesome remains of JJ and Tylee were discovered on Chad’s property, and the newlyweds were arrested and charged with murder. And in a shocking development, horrifying statements revealed that the couple’s fanatical beliefs had convinced them the children had become zombies--a belief that may have led to their deaths.

Bestselling author and journalist John Glatt takes readers deeper into the devastating story of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell in an attempt to unravel the lethal relationship of this doomsday couple.

I adore John Glatt's books and this one did not disappoint - the research was evident but at no time was it dry or dusty: it was gripping and utterly absorbing. Lori and Chad are some of the most reprehensible people I have ever had the ... pleasure ..??? ... to read about and their story is downright spooky and not a little bit a lot CRAZY. The story will keep you hooked from page one to end and I will highly recommend this book, along with Mr. Glatt's others, to family, friends, patrons, and strangers on mass transit who I see reading!

Was this review helpful?

John Glatt has recently become one of my favorite true crime authors. He presents a detailed, easy-to-follow timeline of the story behind the headlines. The story of Lori Vallow was not an easy read by any means. It is hard to fathom how a mother could be brainwashed to the point of sacrificing her own children. How scary that a charismatic man such as Chad Daybell could wield that much power. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advance copy to read and review.

Was this review helpful?

Wow! From the first time I heard about J.J and Tylee missing and the bizarre relationship with Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell I was intrigued. Having always been interested in true crime, I continue to follow this story. I knew this book was right up my alley and would interest me but I was curious if it would have anything new to offer me as I felt that I had been pretty up to date with my knowledge of the case. To my welcomed surprise this book offered me A LOT of new information about this twisted case and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The case is a sad one, there is no denying that, but the fascination lies within how a person(s) mind could be so easily manipulated and brainwashed. The author did a great job of making the book an easy read and topics flowed from one to another without confusion. There were many moving parts to this story and I think the author did an excellent job holding the reader's attention as well as making it easy to follow along with. While I wish this book was fiction, as it is heartbreaking to know it is not, I do recommend this book to anyone who loves a good true crime novel. I am interested in reading the author's other books as I have also followed along with another sad but fascinating true crime case of Chris Watts.

Was this review helpful?

The Doomsday Mother is a true crime story that chronicles the sordid actions of Lori Vallow and her husband Chad Daybell, accused of murdering Vallow’s two children. This is an incredible and almost unbelievable retelling how this couple came together, and their twisted “religious” beliefs that left a trail of dead bodies in their wake. The author does a meticulous job of piecing all the puzzles together, as there’s a lot of moving parts to this story. While the blame falls squarely on the couple, there’s enough secondary characters that share culpability here, from the couple’s friends and family members who failed to alert authorities early on when things were clearly amiss, to “church” leaders who closed ranks, as well as the slow-to-react law enforcement bodies. All told, this is an extremely sad story, although I wished the author had waited until the conclusion of any trials to publish the book, as I’m sure there are more details left to learn. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I've grown to appreciate the True Crime genre in the past few years - particularly over audio. I have listened to Glatt's work in the past, so I was looking forward to checking out his latest where he focuses on the quite strange and tragic case of Lori Vallow, her family, and Chad Daybell and his family. I do recall the initial story when the two children, Tylee and JJ being missing made national news. This book reveals far more detail and background than were ever included in those initial reports.

Glatt first focuses on Lori - going back to her childhood and recounting all five of her marriages. Not quite as much as detail is provided on Chad Daybell, though his career from gravedigger to apocalyptic author and publisher are recorded here. With large family sizes, Mormon cult-like fringe groups and a higher body count than I expected, this narrative nonfiction begins to take crazier and crazier turns feeling more and more like fiction!

I definitely could not set this one aside - in fact, I think I listened to the entire book in virtually one sitting! The British narrator seemed like a somewhat distracting choice, so while this wasn't my favorite performance, it still thoroughly hooked me. With the rest of the trial still upcoming, I was a bit surprised that this is already out. I would have thought that the story would be more complete post-trial... there are a lot of questions left hanging because of this... I hope that more answers are forthcoming and the author is planning on some sort of follow-up!

Was this review helpful?

The Doomsday Mother is well written, easy to follow and tells the horrific , unbelievable story of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell.

John Glatt always does an amazing job of writing and presenting all the facts in a true crime story.

The Doomsday Mother is of course very notorious and will be for years to come.

I could not help but think of the terror of JJ and Tylee and the aftermath for both Chad's family and Lori's.

The story is almost surreal , definitely terrifying and horrible and John Glatt leads you through the disturbing and terrifying account of what happened.

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press for a disturbing yet fascinating read.

Was this review helpful?

Like watching a slow moving train wreck, you just can't wrench your eyes from the book. I think that the author did a great job of keeping the momentum going and trying to explain what really happened to JJ and to Tylee. I learned so much about Prepare a People and the distinct beliefs of some of the rogue LDS church.
I knew the ending, that the authorities would find the kids' bodies, yet I was still hoping for their safety. I just wish that Lori would say what happened.
I can't begin to imagine the stress the children were under with Lori.
The book is a great true crime book and it covered a lot of ground.

Was this review helpful?

This is a True Crime book. I found this book to be very interesting, but there was parts that I felt was repetitive. Some how I did not know anything about this case before reading this book. I have a kid that has autism, and It just upset me what happen to the kids in this book including the one that has autism. There was so much craziness going on in this book that I can even wrap my head around how anyone would do this or let this happen. This is just so sad. I did start off by listening to the audiobook from this book, but I did not like the narrator so I could not keep listening to the audiobook. I ended up reading this book on my kindle, and I enjoyed the kindle book of this book. I cannot say the audiobook was good. I was kindly provided an e-copy and e-audiobook of this book by the publisher or author (John Glatt) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.

Was this review helpful?

The Doomsday Mother: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family was a good read by John Glatt. This book tells the twisted tale of Lori Vallow, who is accused of having her two children murdered. This was to start a new life with her new husband, doomsday prepped Chad Daybell. Lori and Chad moved to a beach resort in Kauai, and they seemed to fit the image of the ritzy gate community. They fled to Hawaii while they were being investigated for the disappearance of her children back in Idaho. Neither child has been seen alive in five months. She had been devoted to her children and her Mormon faith for many years, until her path crossed with Chad’s. He taught her followers how to prepare for the end of times. During the investigation into the children’s death’s, they uncovered more suspicious deaths surrounding both Lori and Chad. These deaths include the death of Lori’s third and fourth husbands, her brother, and Chad’s wife. In June 2020, JJ and Tylee’s remains where discovered on Chad’s property and the newlywed’s were arrested and charged with murder. During investigations it was discovered that the couples beliefs had them convinced that the kids became zombies. This book was a good read into the true crime story of two doomsday preppers and just how far they would go to prepare.

Was this review helpful?

Quite an interesting read about the one story that made international headlines. I can’t imagine the reasons why someone would do something so heinous and looked forward to reading this book. Words escape me. Full of some interesting information that kept me interested and I learned quite a bit. If you are into true crime or have any fascination with this case, it is one you want to grab. 4-5 stars.

Was this review helpful?

Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.
I was first introduced to John Glatt’s true crime novels through “Golden Boy: A Murder Among the Manhattan Elite”. I enjoyed the true story of mental illness, real and imagined, and how it was used as a defense for the young, rich and powerful young man living in the upper echelons of Manhattan. When I was invited to read, “Doomsday Mother”, also by Glatt, I jumped at the chance.
Lori Vallow married Doomsday Prepper and LDS church member, Chad Daybell, in a quiet ceremony on a Hawaiian beach. However, both Lori and Chad had dark secrets that they wanted to keep quiet. For example, both Chad’s former wife, Tammy, and Lori’s former husband, Charles, were both found dead within weeks of each other, in seemingly mysterious circumstances. Then, once the couple had married, two of Lori’s children, Tylee and J.J, completely disappeared, and no one in their immediate family or friends, had seen them. After months of searching, police in the couple’s former home of Idaho uncover two dead human bodies in Chad Daybell’s backyard- and the seemingly perfect couple are arrested and tried for murder.
“Doomsday Mother” provides a haunting look into a cult of “doomsday preppers”, led by Chad Daybell. Although Daybell claimed his Mormon religious beliefs supported his teachings, the church itself disavowed both Chad and Lori, claiming the couple were too “extremist”. Although the majority of the legal proceedings label Lori as a “follower” of Chad’s, Glatt also implies that Lori’s upbringing could very well have attributed to her crimes, as the death of two of her previous husbands (prior to meeting Chad) would indicate.
The novel is divided into three parts; Lori’s past, Chad’s rise to LDS fame, and the disastrous events (including the trial) that happened after the two had wed. There are a lot of characters in this story, from Lori and Chad’s family and friends, to LDS preppers and Doomsday Preppers, to former exes of the exes, so there are quite a few people to differentiate between in this plot. However, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the detailed background provided, especially the twisted sibling relationship between Lori and Alex.
Although I had not heard of this case prior to this novel, the murder of JJ especially was heartbreaking for me, as JJ was on the autism spectrum and it touched a particular chord. The fact that this case was relatively recent (the trial took place during the Covid pandemic) made the story all the more gruesome and disturbing. Glatt provides a first-hand look at the case from various perspectives, and when justice is finally handed out, I felt an immediate satisfaction and sense of reassurance.
Glatt somehow manages to highlight true crime stories that have not been discussed ad nauseum, and I appreciated Glatt’s respect for the victims and their families.

Was this review helpful?

“The Doomsday Mother” by John Glatt tells the ongoing (at the time this review is being written) story of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell. This is a true crime book, but with the cases still pending trial - it was written without a full conclusion (which I’m sure was frustrating for Mr. Glatt - the trials have been postponed thanks to COVID and other circumstances).

As other reviewers have noted, this book delves into the background of both Lori and Chad - including their upbringing (more Lori’s), families (leaning a bit more heavily again toward Lori’s), and their obsession with preparing for the apocalypse - but also their obsession that they were bidden by a higher power to lead people to salvation.

Reading this book made me realize that if this hadn’t really happened, it really read like a bad fan-fiction storyline or something from a bad soap opera arc. That’s not a criticism of Mr. Glatt’s writing - it’s just that what happened, why it happened, and how it happened just seems to be out there in crazy land (and, ultimately, incredibly sad and heartbreaking). Mr. Glatt did a great job in laying out the timeline and telling the facts in an interesting and easy to grasp way. The book contains information from many sources, including interviews, TV news programs, and newspapers.

I hope that once the trials happen (or there’s some final resolution for Lori and Chad) that the book will be updated to include that information. If, like me, you knew some of the story thanks to headlines but didn’t know the backstory - you might want to add this book to ones to read.

Was this review helpful?

Author John Glatt did a fantastic job researching and writing this excellent True Crime story about these horrific crimes that happened in the not too distant past and with the trials still looming ahead. Lori Vallow ran off to Hawaii to marry husband number 5, Chad Daybell, shortly have Chad's wife died of "natural causes." Lori's 4th husband, Charles Vallow, had been shot by Lori's brother, Alex, in "self defense" shortly before that. About the same time, Lori's two children, Tylee Ryan and Joshua (JJ), an adopted "drug baby" as she referred to him, both disappeared. This is such a tragic and disturbing case, not to mention very convoluted, but the author does an excellent job telling the story and keeping the timeline in order.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC of this very heartbreaking story that is still far from over in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Great easy to read book that really delves deeply into the case and into the live of Lori and Chad. I had casually seen a few articles about the case but this book goes much deeper into all of the disturbing factors that led up to the murder of 2 innocent kids. Alot of shocking details!

Was this review helpful?

Lori was a good mother, followed her Mormon religion and was well liked, but when she met Chad her life changed. Chad was also Mormon, but he took his religion to the extreme and started a group of certain people to prepare for the end of the world. Lori got caught up with his charm and beliefs and started to see even her children in a whole different light. She was brainwashed into believing that some people were zombies and had taken over the soul. The story goes on to find Lori's missing children. This book is a true crime mystery..
I thank the author, publisher and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

John Glatt did it again! He writes amazing True Crime books that I just can not put down. I followed this case as it was happening and was excited when I saw that Mr. Glatt had written about it. This book did not disappoint. It was a quick, enjoyable read. This was one of those books that I just had to read "one more page" or you know finish the whole book in one day!

Was this review helpful?

I can't really explain how I missed this saga as it was all unfolding but have since heard bits and pieces in subsequent podcasts. This really laid the whole sordid business out nicely. While it did start a bit slow, once the pace picked up I couldn't put it down. This truly bizarre series of murders made for one wild ride.

Was this review helpful?

Overall: An interesting and accessible read that is really heartbreaking when you realize the whole thing is true.

Pros:
Writing Style. This was super accessible and easy to follow.
The Story. I know this is going to sound odd at first, but bear with me. The reason people are interested in this, see my why section, is the story. If the story was not compelling to read it would not be an interesting read.

Cons:
Repetition. Obviously, as with all nonfiction you run the risk of repeating yourself when telling the story. This tends to do this a bit during key parts.

Was this review helpful?

Very interesting read. I could not put this one down all night! Thanks to publisher and NetGalley for chance to read this book.

Was this review helpful?

The Doomsday Mother is an excellent, detailed true crime novel about the twisted tale of Lori Vallow, accused of murdering her own children. The case has a lot of twists to it and is still ongoing today. The book is very readable, well-researched, and intriguing. Highly recommended!

Was this review helpful?

I received an ARC of, The Doomsday Mother, by John Glatt. Lori and Chad are not good people, wives/husbands/children/ end up dead. This is a well written book about such tragedy. How people were gotten rid of so easily, and no regret or remorse.

Was this review helpful?

Lori Vallow, aka the Doomsday Mother, has fascinated me ever since her story became mainstream news. I live in North Carolina so it took a lot longer for the news to reach over here but this was very well-written and gave a perfect play by play plus the necessary background information. Well done.

Was this review helpful?

I've read a lot of true crime books over many decades, but I've never read one as disturbing as this case. Its written very well and the timeline is told in a logical manner that flows through out the book. The research is exceptional. Because the book ends before the trial, you will have to look that part up yourself, but thats interesting to do in itself.

I'm assuming there will be pictures in the printed copy. Would have been nice to have some here, but again, it's quite easy to Google.

I'm definitely going to be looking for more of Mr. Glatt's books.

Was this review helpful?

Extremely well-written and meticulously researched true crime about the Vallow-Daybell case.

Most have heard about the lengthy investigation as it has featured on the news during the last two years. Many podcasts and documentaries have also focused on this couple who are accused of conspiracy to commit multiple murders in order to fulfill their psychotic belief that they are gods killing the zombies as the end of the world looms. Unfortunately, the trials of each has been postponed due to various complications such as the pandemic restrictions as well as Lori apparently deemed incompetent and having to undergo psychiatric evaluation that obviously needs to result in some serious treatment. So, though the author has presented a detailed timeline and brought together all of the pertinent information, there is not a conclusion at this point.

Throughout the entire book I was struck by the looming specter of evil. These two psychopathic narcissists need a judgment day of their own. I cannot believe that it took so much effort to bring the pair to the point of finally being arrested and held accountable or that the children were missing that long before action was taken to find them. I am looking forward to both trials and continue to follow the situation avidly. Too many deaths for their to be true justice for any of their victims and of course the ongoing drama with family revelations and protestations of support makes me shake my head in disgust. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell have capital punishment on the table and I think many are ready for them to have this resolved as their attorneys mess around and the endless delays in the proceedings.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this e-book ARC to read, review, and recommend to any other fans of true crime.

Was this review helpful?

wow what a interesting mother. What made this book more interesting is that I'm part of that religion. I don't remember hearing this case at all. I was even in Rexburg in 2019 . So to read about a mother mad decent into following this guy who that he was a prophet. I can't believe that she murdered her own kids and believed that she was chosen. Chad was a piece of work and I don't recall hearing of him or reading his books. I can't believe that he murdered his own wife to marry Lori. I can't believe that she had been married for 5 times and maybe murdered her other ex husbands.

Was this review helpful?

If you thought, as I did, that you knew a great deal about this convoluted case involving the disappearance and murder of two children, the murder of two husbands and one wife, and the disturbing doomsday cult that drew Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell together, this revelatory book is a must-read.

Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell's first meeting was like gasoline and fire, a perfect storm of religious fervor and the belief that they were destined to be together and deliver the select 144,000 after the apocalyptic end of the world in July of 2020. Author John Glatt provides details I have not read elsewhere. He met and interviewed numerous people from both Lori and Chad's life (and he names names) as well as law enforcement officers. Also, his interviews with family members and family background provides a solid foundation for understanding just how Lori and Chad ended up believing their hybrid religious fantasy.

The book is very enlightening and I appreciated Glatt's solid research and careful analysis of this case. 4.5 stars and I highly recommend this book.

Was this review helpful?

I have been fascinated by the Vallow - Daybell's murders and was excited to read The Doomsday Mother: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family. I was not disappointed. I learned so much about this evil couple and even more intrigued with this case. Five stars.

Was this review helpful?

The Doomsday Mother by John Glatt is a superb read with an engrossing plot and vibrant characters. Well worth the read!

Was this review helpful?

The disappearances of Tylee Ryan and her brother J.J. Vallow, and later the discovery of their bodies, made national headlines in late 2019 and in 2020.  What made these tragic deaths even more disturbing were the actions (or rather lack thereof) of their mother, Lori Vallow.  After suddenly moving (some say fleeing) to Hawaii after the disappearances, Vallow's refusal to cooperate with investigators began to raise suspicions.  In 2021, she and her new husband, Chad Daybell, were charged with the murders of the two children and one other person.      What would lead a mother down this road?  Author  John Glatt has done some extensive research and gives us Lori's backstory, from her childhood to her obsession with Chad Daybell and his books predicting the coming apocalypse.  This is a disturbing, at times even eerie, look at religious cults, mental illness, and mysterious deaths.  For true crimes fans like myself, this is a must-read.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to the publisher for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Absolutely fascinating and utterly bizarre, I could not put this book down. The story focuses on a woman lured into a religious cult, with tragic results. A great addition to the true crime genre.

Was this review helpful?

I’ve been following this case from the beginning so I knew I wanted to read this book.
These people were far more bizarre than I ever could have imagined. I had the same idea that the author did in asking the question which came first, the chicken or the egg…

Lori Vallow clearly had narcissistic, manipulative tendencies way before meeting Chad Daybell. And Chad Daybell was batshit crazy and manipulative way before he met Lori. My conclusion is that they were perfect for each other in that they fed each other’s narcissistic needs.

I appreciated the background for the main players because it gave a lot of context. Lori came from somewhat absent parents, in the Mormon Church. Family values seemed somewhat lacking. Her brother, Alex Cox, had such a huge part in most of her and Chad’s crimes and I can’t believe he just did lori’s bidding. It’s somewhat implied that he was in desperate need of self esteem and approval and got that amply from chad and lori.

The parts about the crimes are absolutely heinous but that’s to be expected. John Glatt has quickly become one of my favorite true crime writers due to his attention to detail.

Was this review helpful?

John Glatt is one of my favorite authors in my guilty secret genre of true crime. His book The Perfect Father (the horrifying story of Chris Watts, who murdered his wife and two little girls), published in 2020, got five stars from me and Golden Boy (the story of member of the Manhattan elite Tommy Gilbert, who sent his mother out to buy food while he shot his father in the head), published in 2021, was a solid four stars. So I was happy to receive a copy of The Doomsday Mother from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.

Not surprisingly, this very thorough and detailed account of the truly sad case of Lori Vallow and her fifth(!) husband, Chad Daybell, is just over the top as it follows Lori from her childhood through all her marriages, including stories about her family (including her “hit man” brother Alex and her two murdered children. If it were fiction, no one would believe it. How did Lori go from a bright, beautiful, loving wife and mother to a totally delusional cult member who would stop at nothing to be with Chad Daybell? Lori believed every word he said, as ”...he revealed to her the secret spiritual powers she possessed that he alone could unleash.”

The basic story is that while married to her fourth husband Charles Vallow, Lori (who was a lifelong Mormon) met a man she idolized: Chad Daybell. At the time, both were married but when they met it was “...as if a lightning bolt hit both of them.” Lori’s initially mainstream LDS beliefs “evolved” and soon she was “…going to the Mormon temple for hours every day to pray and hear the spirit voices from beyond the veil that were now guiding her.” Chad, whose whole existence revolved around preparing for the end times and Second Coming of Jesus, developed a reputation as an LDS author and speaker. His “…followers were mesmerized as he spoke about his thirty-one previous lives on different planets…he’d been, among others, Martin Luther and Methusela.”

And people BELIEVED him. He and Lori seemd to truly believe they were “...chosen by God to lead a select group of 144,000 suls who would usher in the end-times and the Second Coming Of Jesus Christ…Jesus knew it was their mission to be the head of the 144,000”…and that a

“…vital part of their mission was to rid the world of evil spirits, or zombies…”

Chad really seemed like a doofus who was “...fired from his job…because of his increasingly radical ideology.” His wife, Tammy, stuck with him, even as he “...decided to move…to Rexburg, Idaho, convinced that it was one of the sacred places…he did not bother to tell Tammy.” His life wasn’t going great before he met Lori, but “…he saw a way out of his stagnant life–but first he had to get rid of the (two spouses and Lori’s two kids) Charles Vallow, Tylee, J.J., and Tammy…”. At the same time, “Lori decided that she wanted nothing further to do with Charles or the kids, as she has “a more important mission to carry out…”

Lori had two brothers, Adam and Alex. Adam worried about her, particularly when “She told Adam that she…no longer needed to eat or go to the bathroom…she was now a god, busy gathering the 144,000…” Meanwhile, Alex, who was VERY close to Lori, wasn’t ever doing well on his own: Alex was “…living in suburban Phoenix, Arizona, where he’d found a job emptying Porta Potties.” After acting as Lori’s hit man to get rid of Charles, Alex also moved to Idaho and was definitely involved in the murders of Tylee and J.J. whose bodies were found buried on Chad’s property, while Tammy died in her sleep (yeah, right).

I’m not a believer, but I don’t think that’s why I hated these people. I was disgusted with them, and hope that both Chad and Lori get what’s coming to them. Although she is undergoing psychiatric treatment after being unfit to stand trial, I hope she comes around long enough to stand trial. In the meantime, podcasts have covered the story, and surely a miniseries or movie will come along. Some people, including Lori’s sister Summer, are more generous than I. Summer feels bad for Lori, saying that “…this person’s been good her whole life, and then made this error in judgment and got sucked into the vortex of this man.” I call B.S. on that! Lori Vallow is a monster. The truly puzzling thing is that no one stood up and said “ARE YOU F-ING CRAZY?” There were SO many signs that pointed to trouble for Tylee and J.J.

True crime fans, along with anyone who wants to know about this specific case will appreciate the thorough work that went into this book. Five stars.

Was this review helpful?

Doomsday Mother was every bit as riveting as I thought it would be. This is a disturbing case- so bizarre and unthinkable. A spiralling and dangerous combination of egos and delusion; the chosen ones and the end days. How many people did she destroy? John Glatt takes it beyond the attention-grabbing headlines, offering the full story and further bringing to light this complex tale of lunacy, destruction, and murder. I had not been aware of how many layers there were to this desperately sad case. It made for gripping reading. 5 stars.

Was this review helpful?

*received for free from netgalley for honest review* woah! what a wild ride, i've never heard of this case before and just wow, lots of info and a crazy case!

Was this review helpful?

OMG! This is the actual story of the weird and fascinating tale of Lori and Chad Daybell. The way they went about killing people that they said were "Zombies" and that the only way to save the person that they loved was to kill them so they could go to heaven. Complete with end of the world visions, "Knowing" when people around them would die, and a cult mentality, this book has it all!

Was this review helpful?

Even though I'm interested in true crime stories, for some reason, I always only skimmed all the newspaper and online stories about Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell. Maybe because it was a confusing case, where individuals suspected of murdering children were still running around free in Hawaii. John Glatt's book has fortunately filled me in on all the details so far, and it was a pretty good read, although at times there were too many details, in my opinion.

Lori Vallow was considered a good mother before meeting Chad Daybell, even though she had multiple marriages. Her childhood had its traumas, too, with strong suggestions she had had an incestuous relationship with her brother Alex Cox. He ended up being the one to kill Ms. Vallow's children Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow, at her request. Why? Because they were possessed by evil spirits. They were "zombies" who needed to be eliminated, according to Chad Daybell, her newest lover and guru. Well, that's one way of getting rid of stepchildren you don't want.

Also killed before it was all over was Ms. Vallow's ex-husband and Mr. Daybell's wife. One of the most exasperating things about the case was how the police were not putting the pieces together in those two deaths, even when the husband of a cousin of Lori Vallow's was being hunted down by Alex Cox, and the police were told of the matter. Apparently, the beautiful blonde Ms. Vallow was an incredibly good actress, who was able to always make others believe she was the one being victimized, not the victimizer others claimed. That is until a welfare check was demanded by J. J. Vallow's grandparents.

All of this was tied into the Church of Latter Day Saints, and Chad Daybell's belief he was a prophet ushering in a new world, after the old one was going to be destroyed . . . soon. Hopefully, this case will further add proof that not all doomsday individuals are harmless kooks. The cases against the Daybells, who married in Hawaii two weeks after Chad Daybell's wife was murdered, have not gone to trial yet. Lori Vallow is not even considered fit for trial yet, due to being diagnosed as too mentally ill to understand the charges against her. Chad Daybell probably still believes, while sitting in jail, he's a misunderstood prophet in his own land. Mentally ill individuals often find each other and marry, with disastrous results; although not usually as disastrous as this case demonstrates.

(Note: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press.)

(Note: When trying to post this review at Amazon on 2/9/22, I got the following message: "Amazon has noticed unusual reviewing activity on this product. Due to this activity, we have limited this product to verified purchase reviews.")

Was this review helpful?

I love John Glatt and love true crime books. This was a very detailed and thoroughly researched book about Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell and the disappearance of her children. Lori Vallow is your all American mom who is overtaken by her religious beliefs and enters in to a cult lifestyle led by Chad Daybell. Although this book was interesting, it was almost too detailed for me. The book got long towards the end.

Was this review helpful?

Very well written and easy to read! Thanks to the publisher + NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!

Was this review helpful?

This was the second true crime book I’ve read by John Glatt so I was already somewhat used to his writing style. I did not know much about Lori Vallow prior to reading this beyond what little I’d seen in the media. Glatt is quite thorough when discussing the background and personal history of those involved in the cases he investigates and reports on. Regardless of how much I know about a case going into his books, I always finish them feeling I now have a more thorough understanding of the facts of the case and trial.

Was this review helpful?

John Glatt is one of those whom truly knows how to write true crime, and this book is another perfect example of this! A very wicked, sad case, which i knew very little about prior to this book, but do feel I got a good amount of information on the case, without boring me with unneeded details! Well written, intriguing, and emotional! Would definitely recommend to my fellow true crime junkies!

Was this review helpful?

This was very well written full of detail. I have always been interested in this story this book was all I needed. Such a sad situation for all involved.

Was this review helpful?

I flew through this book. I remember when this was in the news and then I forgot about until the book came out.
This was so interesting to read after I recently read the book Cultish. It’s amazing to me how people can get sucked into things but after reading Cultish and then The Doomsday Mother it makes sense.

I enjoyed the investigative style of this book. I’m going to have the back list now of John Glatt! I am a fan of true crime and this didn’t disappoint. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 4⭐️

Was this review helpful?

Many thanks to #netgalley this is my first book by #johnglatt and it definitely won’t be my last. #doomsdaymother we’ve all heard of #lorivallow whether in the #truecrime word or just the news. I thought that I had read all I could … maybe it’s been a minute. John delved so far in the lives of both Lori and Chad. I loved it. We hear about their families. How they grew up. Alex’s seemingly obsession with his sister. We get the information of when Tylee and JJ went “missing”. Reading this was like being there. It can really pull you in to his tale that he weaves of these two individuals. Even though both Daybell and Lori are awaiting their trials definitely grab this book and devour it. I’m curious if you believe Chad brainwashed Lori. Or. If she is simply psychotic and didn’t need Chad to plan the #endtimes #netgalleyreview #bookstagram #truecrimeaddict #readersofinstagram #lorivallowdaybell #chaddaybell #tyleeandjj #murder #endoftimes

Was this review helpful?

An interesting read. John Glott ha written a great book that many if my true crime friends will enjoy.

Was this review helpful?

THE DOOMSDAY MOTHER: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of the American Family by John Glatt is the true crime account of the lives of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell and their twisted religious beliefs that became the theological justification for the murder conspiracies which led to the deaths of their spouses and Lori’s two minor children.

Lori Vallow had a turbulent young life. Even being a devout Mormon, she was married several times and moved continually. Finally with her fourth husband, she begins to find stability and happiness for herself and her children. But it was not to last. Lori began to study and follow extreme preppers and doomsday zealots that preached the end days were upon us and one of these people was Chad Daybell.

Lori begins her extreme belief in everything Chad teaches. Both lose their spouses, who are at first deemed natural deaths, and within two weeks of Chad’s wife’s death they are married to each other with no children in sight.

In a multi-jurisdiction investigation, the authorities begin to uncover a web of deaths surrounding the couple and then the remains of Lori’s children are found buried on Chad’s land.

Mr. Glatt’s writing brings you into Lori and Chad’s lives and beliefs with even handed descriptions that let the reader make their own conclusions of the crimes. They both had many supporters until the day the children were found. Some felt Lori was brainwashed and this was all Chad’s doing while others believe that Lori was just as guilty and smart enough to manipulate her brother’s involvement in the deaths and set up financial gains from every death. There is no conclusion to this horrific story currently with Chad still awaiting trial and Lori in a mental health facility unable to contribute to her own defense at this time.

I feel this true crime book is full of interesting information that I did not get while the case was in all the headlines. It is also heartbreaking and scary in this case and many more the way religion can be twisted with cult-like beliefs and destroy so many lives.

Was this review helpful?

Even though I have several John Glatt works on my shelf, this is my first John Glatt work that I've consumed.

This case has had my attention from the moment the news shared that Tylee and JJ were missing. Their story is heartbreaking and while I feel that Dateline has covered this case very well, Glatt has some additional details that Dateline has not shared. Such as familial background and all of the ins and outs of past relationships and jobs.

As this does cover the murder of two children, readers do need to realize that a lot of information probably can't be shared about the victims as they are minors. Therefore, understand going in that this is not a victim-centered coverage of the case. It is more of a background to leading up to what happened directly around Lori and Chad at the time the children went missing.

I will say this is one of the best true crime books that I've read in awhile, but I am a bit disappointed that this was released prior to the conclusion of the court proceedings related to the case. While Dateline can update their coverage of the case, a book cannot be easily updated.

Was this review helpful?

I’ve recently been on a true crime kick and this one did not disappoint, the case is chilling to the core, involving minors. The research put into this book was amazing, making it one of the best true crime books I’ve read yet, and only my first from this author!

Was this review helpful?

I was not familiar with this story and found the authors way of telling it well done. Well researched and great background on the people involved. The book is broken down into distinct sections which makes it easier to follow. Others criticize the author stating he should have waited to release the book after trial, but I wasn't bothered by that at all. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

I am a big true crime fan. I have previously listened to a podcast on this. I think John Glatt did a great job of telling the story of what happened in a engaging and interesting way. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell became obsessed with the end of times leading them to commit crimes that are pretty shocking. I would recommend this story to my true crime loving friends.

Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read this book.

Was this review helpful?

Thank for the advanced copy

This read more like a fiction, hard to believe that this a true story and that so many lives were affected.
Also shows how one can manipulate and be manipulated and how one’s delusions will make them act

Was this review helpful?

Although I’ve seen many documentaries about this woman, reading about how awful she is was even more interesting. Better than any tv show I could watch about this horrific event

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed what the author wrote but honestly the woman in question made me sick to my stomach. The fact that she could do something like that to her children just baffles me.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley for the advance reader copy of this book. John Glatt always spins true tales so that the reader will want to turn the pages quickly. This murder story is no different. This story is horrifying, and Glatt brings the reader all through the horror.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley for this ARC for an exchange for an honest review.

Good book, very interesting. Read it.

Was this review helpful?

I am a true crime junkie who enjoys all the documentaries and books. The Doomsday Mother was no exception. I only knew a little bit about the mother who killed her children and then flew to Hawaii. This book was an in-depth took at her history of mental illness and crimes she had committed. The beginning started off a bit slow and parts were repetitive, but overall it was an interesting and informative read. I would recommend it to any of my fellow true crime junkies!

Was this review helpful?

When I saw this book I knew I had to have it. I live in Utah so I followed this case. I remember being at home when there was breaking news that law enforcement was digging at Chad's house. At that moment my heart sank knowing the outcome probably wasn't good. I had hoped that they would be found alive. It is truly so sad what happened to those kids.

Reading this book I realized I didn't follow the case as much as I thought. I knew Lori's husband and brother were dead, I also knew Chad's wife had died but I didn't know much about their deaths. I knew Lori and Chad had ran off to Hawaii. It seemed like everything happened in such a short period of time where that isn't the case. Reading the book I also found out I own one of the books Chad published. It is so weird to me.

I thought some of the book seemed a little long, but overall it was so informative. There was more to the story than I could even imagine. This book made me so mad and I even got tears when they talked about the state of the kids. It was worth the read. The author did such a great job at explaining what was going on and all the players. I hope once the case is finally over he writes a second book that picks up where he left off.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my copy of the book, the review is my own.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: