"Hell of an Affair," by Duane Swierczynski, in L.A. Noire, 2011.
L.A. Noire is a video game created by Rockstar Games, and as I understand it, the player has the role of an L.A. cop in the forties, trying to solve various crimes. I don't play video games, having enough addictive habits without that one, thank you very much, but I picked up the accompanying product: L.A. Noire, the complete stories. According to the introduction some of the stories include characters/plots from the games and some just bask in the milieu. So far, this one is my favorite.
Billy Shelton is a land surveyor whose daily grind is to drive "around in the dry heat and set up my theodolite on its tripod and make little measurements and write them down in my notebook. Then I go home to my empty apartment on West Temple Street, where I stare at the walls and try not to climb them."
In other words, a classic noir protagonist, a pile of tinder waiting for someone to throw a match. The match turns out to be (surprise!) a beautiful woman named Bonnie, a waitress who takes an unexpected shine to him. Anyone who has read noir knows she has something nasty in mind, and that's what happens.
But the reason this story made my list is several unexpected turns the story takes near the end. Billy is an organized sort of guy, after all, used to precise mathematical measurements and his mantra becomes I can still set things right... I can still set things right. But there are some angles too bent to measure.