I read this quite a while back, part of my parents library (they're in their 50s now)
I think the book was probably published in the 70s or 80s, my copy was paperback. I don't recall the cover art, but I have vague recollections of a satellite on the cover and maybe blue with grid-lines below it?
I've made concerted efforts to find it again but to no avail. My parents don't remember it either, but mum's an avowed book-aholic and buys a lot of books, reads them once and forgets about them, so that's not so surprising.
The key parts I remember:
- Both the Soviets and Americans were working on psychic techniques and technologies, with real and tangible results including Remote Viewing. MK-ULTRA was explicitly namedropped in relation to the American psychic program.
- The Soviets and Americans both had orbiting superweapons, One was a microwave laser (or something very similar) and the other used slivers of the brains of psychics to blow people's brains up in a wide area.
- A super-psychic (male) took offence to the state of the cold-war and took control over the orbital weapons by manipulating the onboard computers psychically.
- There's a gruesome description of a psychic weapon being tested on monkeys in a lab, the POV character throws up afterwards in horror.
- I think there might have been more than one POV character.
- There's an extended description of the psychic orbital weapon as experienced by people in its area of effect. Similar to the monkeys, it builds up, starting with alzheimer-esque hand-shaking and building up to seizures and screaming before their brain liquifies fully and either comes out the nose and ears or outright blows the skull open. (this is one of the more vivid recollections I have of the book)
- I remember that the super-psychic was working wholly alone and did most of his psychic stuff from motels halfway around the world from events.
- I believe the super-psychic also killed other psychics explicitly.
- The weapon satellites had code-names
- Both weapons were used on cities in the course of the story
- I vaguely recall an office building getting targeted specifically at one point.