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Irresistible Impulse: A True Story of Blood and Money Hardcover – September 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (September 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671680692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671680695
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,073,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Coverage in the British tabloids was wilder than usual when Michael Henry Maxwell Telling was tried and convicted for the 1983 killing of 26-year-old Monika Zumsteg, his American-born wife of only 15 months. Lindsey ( A Gathering of Saints ) recounts the major details of this doomed relationship, from the lovers' courtship to the discovery of Zumsteg's bullet-ridden, decapitated body. Telling--heir to the fortune of the Vesteys, England's second-wealthiest family--spent time in mental hospitals as a youngster, and as an adult became a chronic liar subject to violent fits of rage. On a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to buy a Harley-Davidson, while falsely claiming to be a British intelligence agent, he met Zumsteg, a junior executive; within the month he had proposed to her. But his "dark side" emerged shortly after the couple moved to England, and Zumsteg fell into alcoholism and despair. Lindsey covers Telling's six-day trial routinely, and does little more investigating into Zumsteg's American and British days than did the attorneys for the defense and the prosecution, both of whom were determined to blame Telling's murderous behavior on the victim herself. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A life of untold riches and splendor awaited Monika Zumstag, a Californian who was about to marry a quiet, handsome Englishman. Through a chance encounter, Michael Telling, an heir to the Vestey fortune, the second wealthiest family in England, had met Monika's father, who in turn introduced Michael to his daughter. What seemed like a fairy tale soon turned into a gothic nightmare. Upon Monika's arrival in England, Michael's quiet demeanor steadily gave way to wildly erratic behavior, culminating in wild tantrums, with Michael ripping their home apart and attacking Monika physically. Soon, Monika learned about Michael's long history of psychiatric hospitalizations. While trying to help him, she soon became an alcoholic. In one night of terror, Michael shot and killed Monika and then beheaded her. He was found guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. Lindsey has written a fascinating tale of disturbed people and dashed dreams. Recommended for true crime collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/92.
- Sandra K. Lindheimer, Middlesex Law Lib., Cambridge, Mass.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kerry on October 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of Robert Lindsey's books through the West Australian library system. However this title was not available nor was part 2 of the Falcon and Snowman...so had to buy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sammye R. Hynes on September 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a truly sad story and unless you lived it, it's easy to think "Why didn't she know"? In our early 20's in the 1980's was a more trusting time. If you met someone and they were polite, well spoken, seemed a little shy - your first thought was not "Wow he's feeding me a line of garbage". And that was how this entire saga between Monika and Michael began. This story is a real eye opener and Robert Lindsey did a wonderful job of telling the story.

Many thanks to him.

Sam (aka: Samantha in the book)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K grimsley on September 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a rare find. It will truly be one of the best books you will ever read.
The reason for that is it reads like fiction you will not believe it is true but it all is!!!!! Great true crime book. THe author does a great job!!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Wellman on December 14, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book awhile back and it haunts me to this day. A modern fairy-tail princess story gone wrong. Is how I would describe this book. It grabs you from the first page till the last. I feel for Monika's family and all they had to endure. It's on my top ten books to read.
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