That's partly because it's a very San Francisco book. I recognize the settings; I am aware of my place in the universe and in the book's universe. Latterly, I live downhill from a Lois. The Outer Richmond indeed has more going on than is at first apparent. When the book needs a wasteland, it goes to the not-yet-cleaned-up bits of Alameda, which seems appropriate; I was reminded what they looked like when my work group went on a ferry outing.
And there's hope for the future because the author says he's interested in "puzzle fiction." I don't know what that means, exactly, but if it's something like Winston Breen, I'm in favor.