SPANISH FLY by Will Ferguson
This is a kind of prequel to Happiness by Will Ferguson, although each easily stands on its own. This is the story of Jack McGreary, a brilliant young man who finds himself lost in the world of con men and shifty dealings. The lessons in this world don't come cheap and often have fatal consequences, so he'll need to use every ounce of his cleverness to make it out alive.
I picture Ferguson spending hours in the library while he was researching this book. From all the brilliant factoids to the histories and fates of real con men, this book crackles with realism, a kind of texture that brings the story to life. He gives Jack and his accomplices a complexity that some authors wouldn't have bothered with and it really makes this story something special.
You'll never be able to guess the ending to this one. It's as clever as its main character. This is one to add to your list, just don't blame me if you start feeling suspicious of repairmen and state officials.