Death is the red flower of war,"" and this is another doomsday book of bomb brinkmanship (less shrill than some of its American counterparts) which concentrates the threat of total annihilation aboard a small ship, making a danger run from Singapore to the British Isles. In Peking, Liu Fa Tsu, an intellectual throwback, a ""sedentary"" type, becomes a man of action after his young wife is riddled with Russian bullets. He usurps the leadership and gives the go-ahead on Project Seven, the use of a portable atomic bomb which can be triggered by remote control. Lownie, a Scot, captaining his Maree Tarn, becomes increasingly uneasy when there is violence aboard his ship, his cargo is checked, and he is forced to take on some unwelcome passengers (agents). All of this is prefatory to a big power conference at Garda. Oswald Wynd is an old China hand, and even if you know what might happen, and what won't happen, your attention is retained; the timing is good and the overall impression one of trim precision.