From September 1970, this was the first in a series of psychic detective novels by Frank Lauria (born 1935). Others followed over the years - RAGA SIX, BARON ORGAZ, LADY SATIVA, THE PRIESTESS and THE SETH PAPERS. In fact, as recently as 1991 Dr Orient appeared in BLUE LIMBO and since Lauria has had further books published in the last few years, maybe the Doc’s career still has a few kicks left in it.
The series stars Dr Owen Orient, an actual surgeon and psychiatrist who has dropped his medical practice to concentrate on his spiritual research. Orient studied for years in the mountains of Tibet, mastering telepathy and astral projection, returning to the Western world to bring his serene knowledge where it was most needed. He lives with a loyal manservant named Sordi, has a loose group of students and disciples, and dedicates himself to training gifted ones and (when necessary) fighting negative energy.
Well, this is a perfectly sound foundation for a mystic adventure series, and it has worked just fine for Mandrake the Magician, Dr Strange, the Green Lama and many more. Lauria makes Orient believable by limiting his powers. He’s skilled in telepathy but within reasonable limits; he can’t levitate out the window or cast illusions to trick gunmen or anything like that. He’s also accessible as a personalty, being serious and dedicated but not overbearing.
Orient comes across as thoughtful and honest, not hesitating to admit his limits or ask for advice. He feels very much like someone you could trust if you were being swamped by malevolent psychic energy. On the other hand, although enlightened, he’s not above feeling doubt or uncertainty. (via Dr Hermes MORE RETRO-SCANS)