In a Lonely Place (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
In a Lonely Place
First edition
Author Dorothy B. Hughes
Country United States
Genre Mystery
Publisher Duell, Sloan and Pearce
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 Brub's wife Sylvia 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]

Radio adaptation[edit]

Philip Morris Playhouse presented In a Lonely Place March 16, 1952. Joseph Cotten and University of Kansas student Mary Lou Jukes co-starred in the 30-minute adaptation.[5]


  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. Archived November 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  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.
  5. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read