Shades is part mystery and part ghost story. It's the account of paranormal investigator, Michael Grainger, set against his experiences hunting and interacting with ghosts and his difficulty connecting with the living. The tale takes place at Redthorn Hall in York, England, where Grainger has come to investigate an alleged haunting. Masquerading as a genealogist to engender cooperation from those who might otherwise be skeptical about the very idea of ghosts or hauntings, he studies the history of the Arden family and explores the elegant manor.
Amanda Woods is a twice-diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, pitifully neglected by social services for almost 12 years. During that time, she has teetered on the edge of reality, plagued by a variety of delusions, including one involving her late mother, Rhoda Pruitt. Amanda calls it her "Rhoda-delusion." However, her new case worker, Donna Rodriguez, has met Rhoda, and she knows Rhoda is not a delusion at all.