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New releases: James Patterson and Malcolm Gladwell

This week's new books include: Cross Country by James Patterson (Little, Brown, $27.99) The home of Alex Cross’ oldest friend is turned into a horrific murder scene, and the destruction leads him to believe that he’s chasing a new breed of killer. As Alex and his girlfriend become entangled in the deadly Nigerian underworld of Washington, D.C., they discover a gang of  teens headed by a diabolical African warlord.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $27.99) Gladwell (The Tipping Point) once again proves masterful in a genre he essentially pioneered — the book that illuminates secret patterns behind everyday phenomena. His gift for spotting an intriguing mystery, luring the reader in, then gradually revealing his lessons in lucid prose, is on vivid display.

The Private Patient by P.D. James (Knopf, $25.95) In James' 14th Adam Dalgliesh mystery, the charismatic police commander pursues the murder case of Rhoda Gradwyn, a 47-year-old journalist murdered soon after plastic surgery. And he knows the case may be his last.

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Why We Suck by Denis Leary (Viking, $26.95) Dr. Denis Leary uses his common sense, and his biting and hilarious take on the world, to attack the politically correct, the hypocritical, the obese, the thin — basically everyone who takes themselves too seriously.

Looking for Lincoln: The Making of an American Icon by Philip B. Kunhardt III, Peter W. Kunhardt and Peter W. Kunhardt Jr. (Knopf, $50) In honor of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, an extensively researched, lavishly illustrated consideration of the myths, memories and questions that arose in the years between his assassination and the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922.

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Dying for Revenge by Eric Jerome Dickey (Dutton, $25.95) The third entry of the Gideon trilogy (after Waking with Enemies) offers intrigue, deception, murder and sex in exotic locales, with a noir sensibility and keen attention to setting. As killers pursue Gideon through London, Nashville, Atlanta and countless Caribbean beaches, Dickey's detailed location descriptions give his over-the-top violence and sex a vivid, realistic grounding.

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