Good advice for any writing, not just novels:
On the subject of escaping routine, think about what your novel’s going to give us that we couldn’t get anywhere else and make sure this is flagged up front. If it’s about a one-legged detective, let’s see him. If it’s about corruption in Guatemala, give us something corrupt and Guatemalan on the first page. It’s no time to be coy or subtle. At no point should a reader feel like they’re waiting for something – wondering, yes, but not waiting.