lately. It's a fantasy novel but written in a VERY modern way... There are the Sons of Cludd (Cludd being one of the many gods in the novel...) and the Cluddites are being treated VERY gently- the Cluddites LOVE to deal with heresy and blasphemy with BURNING people at the stake... so the people in charge of the city are keeping them around because hey- they are just religious people and they CAN be useful... just have to keep them from burning TOO many people.
There is a HUGE problem with ghouls in this society. And ghouls are... both a major problem and... something that people just... deal with. Regular human beings CAN become ghouls- and if you DO change, you will kill and eat people and corpses... the more rotten and decayed, the better. At one point, the king of the ghouls is holding COURT in the bad part of town... people willingly entering the ghoul's lairs to have the ghouls EAT part of a family corpse... BECOME that person for a time and tell people WHERE the money is hidden...
And oh yes- if a ghoul eats a corpse, there IS a chance that the SPIRIT of the person being eaten can OVERCOME a ghoul- they BECOME that person SO HARD they STAY that person... the ghoul is GONE and the person who came BACK now has some... weird habits :)
And the author is NOT afraid to kill off characters. Midway through the book, ONE fo the characters is MURDERED- a happy and friendly big fat guy, smart- THE major intelligence in the city that knows ghouls! And he's murdered off-screen, as an aside... and the NEXT chapter has the murdered character TELLING THE STORY in first person! What??
Oh no- a GHOUL ate his decaying corpse and for over a MONTH that ghoul STUCK in his form and WAS him... even though he, of course, had been just a pile of greenish, decaying organs on a table a chapter or two prior :(
AMAZING book- when I get the author and title, I'll edit this post to put them in. I haven't finished it yet- but MAN it's a fascinating book with a FASCINATING back culture... written in such a way that the bigger background story continues in the background... while also impacting the characters in the foreground!