In a Lonely Place (novel)

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In a Lonely Place
Author Dorothy B. Hughes
Country United States
Genre Mystery
Publication date

In a Lonely Place is a 1947 novel by mystery writer Dorothy B. Hughes. It was made into the classic film noir under the same title starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame in 1950.


The novel is a noir set in post World War II Los Angeles. Dix Steele, the main character, is an ex-airman who roams the city at night. He offers to help a detective friend, Brub, solve the case of a serial killer. Eventually, however, actress Laurel Grey and the Sylvia (Brub's wife) discover that Steele himself is the murderer.[1] Author Hughes paints a psychological portrait of a woman-hating serial killer and rapist,[2] and exposes the misogyny of American society at that time.[1]

Book to film[edit]

The film differs from the novel in several substantial ways. For example, in the film Steele is innocent of the murders he's suspected of committing, and is sincere in his desire to be a successful screenwriter; in the novel, he is a violent sociopath who claims to be a crime novel writer in order to sponge off of relatives.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b In a Lonely Place, The Feminist Press at the City University of New York.
  2. ^ Weitzman, Erica, 2003-10-09, The Girls in 3-B / In a Lonely Place / Skyscraper, Popmatters.[dead link]
  3. ^ Black, David A., 1999, Law in Film, University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-06765-7.
  4. ^ Telotte, J. P., 1989, Voices in the Dark: The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir, University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-06056-3.