Psychic Detective: The Unicorn
Hans Holzer | Manor Books | 1976 | 192 pages
Tiring of his luxurious, yet mundane, daily existence, shipping magnate Adam Pitt invents a secret life for himself as “The Unicorn”, kingpin of a drug smuggling operation. Although not lacking in wealth since inheriting a fortune from his wife’s tragic, and possibly suspicious, death, Pitt nonetheless yearns for the excitement that his illegal operation provides. Also fancying himself as an amateur treasure-hunter, Pitt sets off to find a lost fortune in sunken Spanish gold after discovering a map in a local antique shop that points to a shipwreck off the coast of Corley Hall, his East Anglican estate.
Frustrated in the attempt to find the Spanish treasure on his own, Pitt seeks out the help of Randy Knowles, internationally renowned psychic detective, and specialist in solving unusual and extraordinary cases. Accompanying Pitt back to Corley Hall, Knowles makes an early psychic connection—not with the location of the treasure, but with Pitt’s ingénue, Rowan Dorset. A young actress whose career has been constructed with Pitt’s money and connections, Rowan has been unknowingly used as a mule for information exchanges in his drug trade.
Discovering his client’s smuggling operation, Knowles becomes determined to destroy the secret drug trade and bring Pitt to justice. Rowan, sensing a special link with Knowles, volunteers to assist the effort, after he shows her—through a coached session of astral projection— an earlier incarnation of herself, a centuries-earlier brothel madam.
By the time of Knowles’ introduction some sixty-plus pages into the story, Pitt has almost become the default anti-hero, giving readers a mostly charming sociopath to root for in his battle against the moralist detective—who steals his love interest and upsets his villainous schemes. Further complicating the moral divide are the local villagers, who should be sympathetic characters against Pitt’s efforts, but instead show their own murderous impulses. Knowles also brings little of his supernatural mental gifts to his case-cracking repertoire, using his psychic skills seemingly for seduction, and poorly timing his trance-state-derived astral projections—when also not using them for seduction.