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Cross Country : by James Patterson (Little, Brown, $27.99) When the home of Alex Cross' oldest friend is turned into the worst murder scene Alex has ever seen, the destruction leads him to believe that he's chasing a horrible new breed of killer. As Alex and his girlfriend become entangled in the deadly Nigerian underworld of Washington, D.C., what they discover is shocking: an organized gang of teenagers headed by a diabolical man - an African warlord.


The Private Patient : by P.D. James (Knopf, $25.95) In James' 14th Adam Dalgliesh mystery (after 2006's The Lighthouse), the charismatic police commander knows the case of Rhoda Gradwyn, a 47-year-old journalist murdered soon after undergoing the removal of an old disfiguring scar at a private plastic surgery clinic in Dorset, may be his last.

Why We Suck : by Denis Leary (Viking, $26.95) 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, this is an extensively researched, lavishly illustrated consideration of the myths, memories and questions that gathered around our most beloved - and our most enigmatic - president in the years between his assassination and the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922.

Dying for Revenge : by Eric Jerome Dickey (Dutton, $25.95) The third entry of Dickey's Gideon trilogy 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 Caribbean beaches, Dickey's detailed location descriptions give his over-the-top violence and sex a realistic grounding.

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