Mad Mischief: A Novel by Susan St. John

Mad Mischief: A Novel by [St. John, Susan]

3 Stars

Publisher: MCP Books

Date of publication: May 22nd 2017

Genre: Fiction

Where you can find Mad Mischief: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book synopsis:

What happens when an elite African safari is transformed into a psychotic journey of survival for a society wife traveling with her narcissistic husband? In Mad Mischief, the shimmering beauty and primal power of Sub-Saharan Africa is the setting for this story of love, deceit, obsession and ultimately, escape and redemption. 

Inspired by true events, Mad Mischief is the haunting tale of Sarah – a woman struggling with the unforgiving callousness of her selfish husband, the sadistic machinations of their safari guide, the unscrupulous actions of a Nairobi shopkeeper, and the enigmatic behavior of a world-renowned photographer who inexplicably appears whenever she is in desperate need of a guardian angel. Her very consciousness altered by an adverse reaction to anti-malarial medication, Sarah barely maintains a vestige of her sanity and personal fortune as she travels through the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania, finally winding up in the city of Nairobi, where she confronts roguish men aiming to take advantage of her drug-induced state of mind. 

The word safari means ‘long journey.’ The events of Sarah’s safari take her on a life-altering rite of passage that begins with an epiphany as she glimpses a matriarchal herd of elephants on her first day in the wild. From that moment on, her life and sanity slip away until she is rescued, and ultimately emerges with a transformed state of mind and a once unimaginable core of strength. 

Susan spent nearly 20 years as Vice President of Sales for a major division of MCA/ Universal Studios, implementing sales programs to increase the attendance for The Universal Studios Tour, The Amphitheatre, the Tourmobile in Washington, D.C., and the hotel concessions at Yosemite National Park. She then went on to create two very successful entrepreneurial ventures, one delivering unique financial services to high-level executives, and the other providing innovative networking and marketing opportunities for a broad cross-section of businesses. She now resides in Montecito, California amidst an eclectic art collection gathered from her travels around the world, with a kitchen full of pots and pans for cooking gourmet dishes. Her passion for culinary masterpieces and wondrous art are very much a reflection of what she has poured into this work of fiction


First Line

The door flew open and a tall, soaking-wet figure catapulted into the room wearing a confident grin on his ruddy face.

Mad Mischief by Susan St. John

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Mad Mischief, I was intrigued. I have read very few books that take place in Africa. I have read even fewer books that take place on a photography safari. Since I am an easy-going reader, I figured I would enjoy reading it. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I had to struggle to finish the book.

I did think that the storyline of Mad Mischief was interesting. A woman nearing the end of her rope goes on a safari with her husband and another couple. While on safari, the woman is abused and taken advantage of by the safari guide and husband. Almost suffering a breakdown, the woman soon realizes that she was stronger than she expected.

As I said, I liked the storyline. I thought it was well written and intriguing. The only thing, I didn’t like how the author jumped from past to present and back. I ended up rereading parts of paragraphs, which annoyed me because it broke my reading flow. I hate backtracking to previous chapters.

I felt terrible for Sarah the entire book. Max and her husband bullied her during her trip. She was taken advantage of by many people while in Nairobi. Not one person stepped in to help her, which saddened me. It was clear that she was losing her mind, and people kept using her. Even if she wasn’t my favorite character, I did feel for her.

Mad Mischief had to be one of the angriest books that I have read. Everyone was upset, and Sarah took the brunt of it. I couldn’t get over how everyone treated her. She was their verbal punching bag. It made me sick to read.

The end of Mad Mischief was confusing. It felt forced and rushed. I was left wondering what the heck happened. I was happy with what happened to Sarah, but it came out of left field.

Mad Mischief is not a book that I would read again. I thought that the storyline had promise. But that was overshadowed by unlikeable characters and a plotline that was hard to follow. Also, the anger towards Sarah in was hard to read.


I would give Mad Mischief an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would not reread Mad Mischief. I would not recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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1 thought on “Mad Mischief: A Novel by Susan St. John”

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