Like all great ghost stories The Wickford Doom features an array of ominous events and an old legend, and is combined with a crazy old relative with a penchant for black magic and the occult. The story is set in a remote village with a history of rather unnatural and somewhat bone-chilling events during World War Two. The story melds together two genres in an interesting way. The Wickford Doom is an interesting blend of war story and ghost story. Against the backdrop of the blitz and food rations, the story unfolds. For Harry and his mother the loss and horror of war is compounded by the sinister actions of a cruel relative, playing a nasty joke from beyond the grave.
The narrative juxtaposes the evils of man and the evils of demons when Harry and his new friend Captain Morris come face to face with the demon from the Doom. The Biblical evil represented by the demon portrayed in the doomsday painting is mirrored by the human evil of Hitler during the war. The heroic actions of Harry’s father and other British troops going to war against Hitler to defend foreign lands is mirrored by Captain Morris fighting with Harry against Lord Harrington and the demon and refusing to be corrupted. The combination of war story and ghost story works exceptionally well here, the clever use of the historical period and the mirroring of the epic battle of good and evil across both genres creates a fulfilling and thrilling read.