Shade Crawford knows death. He’s been there. For 6 minutes and 32 seconds exactly. It’s a world he never completely escaped, bringing his journey back with him to the reality of life as a homicide detective. It also dominates his life at home as a single father, raising a young son with only the ghostly presence of a wife who disappeared while Shade healed from his near death experience.
Beginning months after Shade’s “death,” we watch him at work with partner, LINDA “L.G.” GARRETT. When serial killer GRIMM is shot and killed, Shade confronts his gloating specter. Shade’s new partner gets a first hand look at Shade’s capabilities as Shade saves Grimm’s latest victim. Their next case marks the first tick of a roller coaster moving upwards, plunging them into the twists and turns of a mastermind who is pure evil. Shade is operating on the edge, dodging psychiatric help and working to keep L.G. at arms length.
In his moments at home, Shade struggles to balance his drive and the needs of ELI, his nine-year-old son. The evenings include the presence of Shade’s wife, Lilly. Having disappeared months ago, there is hope that she may still be alive. But Shade knows. For him she is always waiting at home. Always watching over Eli and unaware that she is anything beyond a harried mother. Her face at the end of the day brings joy, while her humming in the darkness haunts Shade as he tries to sleep.
Shade and L.G. follow a trail of items that link a string of murders. The thread eventually sends them to a location containing a body. The cat and mouse game just became personal for Shade when it is identified as Lilly. The world around Shade grieves a truth that Shade has already been living with. For Shade it is gasoline on the fire that rages to find the killer now known as THE SCAVENGER.
The Scavenger, like Shade, has a close relationship with death. He loves it. And he has made his bliss his business, hiring out as a killer and building a fortune with his expertise. Murder is also his hobby. A darker version of Dexter Morgan, The Scavenger is a rock star covered in blood. His modus operandi changes periodically, each string of killings a new concept album with its own rules and motives. His ties with Shade and who the detective has become are the centerpieces of his latest work.
As Shade pursues The Scavenger he will be aided by a diverse group including L.G., who he will have to learn to trust, his childhood friend JED, now a priest and sparring partner, and the spectral presence of Grimm, who will become his touchstone for evil in return visits to the basement of their first meeting. Shade will also be helped by his son, who provides not only a compass for sanity, but displays an uncanny understanding of Shade’s “ability” and what it all means.
Destroying the Scavenger may release the victims that remain bound to the purgatory between earth and whatever is next. It could mean that the love of Shade’s life will be gone completely. Shade will also have to face the fact that the light he experienced during his own brief death may not have been his true destination. The force that dragged him back to life had a much darker purpose. The detective will have to solve the mystery of his own heart and atone for the sins of his past.
SHADE is a gritty, unflinching look at the fantastic. It peels back the layers of everyday life to the mystery beneath, revealing humanity where it seems to be lost and light at the end of the tunnel…