In a Lonely Place (novel)

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In a Lonely Place
First edition
AuthorDorothy B. Hughes
CountryUnited States
PublisherDuell, 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, actress Laurel Gray and Brub's wife Sylvia begin to think about what Steele is telling them, and they aid the forces of justice to close in on the suspected killer without him being aware of it.

Book to film[edit]

The film differs from the novel in several substantial ways. For example, in the film, despite being a violent man with a hot temper, 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 sociopath who claims to be a crime novel writer in order to sponge off of relatives.[1][2]

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.[3]

Suspense presented In a Lonely Place March 6, 1948. Robert Montgomery and Lurene Tuttle starred in a one-hour adaptation of the full plot.


  1. ^ Black, David A., 1999, Law in Film, University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-06765-7.
  2. ^ Telotte, J. P., 1989, Voices in the Dark: The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir, University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-06056-3.
  3. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via open access