Brodie Moncur is a young Scottish musician and piano tuner about to embark on the story of his life. His employer wants to send him to Paris, it's the end of the 19th century, and this will give Brodie a chance to escape Edinburgh and his stifling family including his preacher-father to Paris - where it's happening.
Brodie connects with a famous pianist, and Lika Blum, a beautiful Russian soprano.
This story is a gentle whirlwind of passion, music and romanticism, ambition, betrayal and revenge. By that I mean, it's gentle for a whirlwind. In an age where masterpieces were created, and rivals were destroyed, it requires a masterful touch to hold the threads together. In this story - a simultaneous revelation of the beauty, poetry, symmetry and creativity required for the birth of a musical creation and the evil and corruption for the destruction of a soul who may compete for affections, the limelight, or just threaten one's temporary place in the sun, William Boyd proves he is worthy of the "master" title.
A wondrous 4 stars.