Jake Ockham had a dream job, vetting nominees for the Sedgewick Medallion-the nation's highest civilian award for heroism. His own scarred hands are an indelible reminder of the single mother he failed to pull from a raging house fire; her face haunts him still. Obligations drag him back to his hometown to edit the family newspaper but attempts to embrace small-town life, and the hot new doctor, are thwarted by unknown forces. The heroes Jake vetted go missing and he becomes the prime suspect in the disappearances. Aided by resourceful friends, Jake follows a twisted trail to the Dark Web, where a shadowy group is forcing the kidnapped medalists to perform deadly acts of valor to amuse twisted subscribers to its website. To save his heroes, Jake must swallow his fears and become one himself...or die in the attempt.
Before turning to fiction, Ken MacQueen spent 15 years as Vancouver bureau chief for Maclean’s, Canada’s newsmagazine, winning multiple National Magazine Awards and nominations. He travelled the world writing features and breaking news for the magazine, and previously for two national news agencies. He has written extensively on crime, politics, disasters, both natural and man-made—and, being Canadian, on the shifting fortunes of the late Queen Elizabeth II and her clan. All of this is potential fodder for future fiction, though the Queen as action hero always seemed unlikely. Hero Haters, set in the Pacific Northwest and rural Pennsylvania, is his debut thriller. MacQueen covered nine Olympic Games and drew the athletic prowess of Jake Ockham, his protagonist, from tracking elite rowers in training and on podiums in Athens, Beijing and London. He and his wife divide their time between North Vancouver and British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast.