Love is Blind by William Boyd

William Boyd’s fifteenth novel begins well enough. In 1894 Edinburgh, a 24-year-old piano tuner is promoted to run the Paris branch of the firm he works for. Boyd is good on the inner workings of the piano: “the hammers, the rockers, the jacks, the whippens, the dampers – its innards were exposed like a clock with its back off or a railway engine dismantled in a repair shed.”   

Brodie Moncur, the tuner in question, is possessed of perfect pitch and a fine sensibility which places him at odds at with the brutal household of his tyrannical father and nine siblings (his mother has died in childbirth).