The Night Listener centers around Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams), a late night radio talk show host and acclaimed writer. He becomes enthralled by a story that one of his listeners privately shares with him. Gabriel is in a rut himself, still grieving after his lover leaves him, and he takes a personal interest in the affairs of Pete D. Logand (Rory Culkin). Pete gives Gabriel a glimpse into his life and the hardships that he has been made to endure. He is in the custody of Donna Logan (Toni Collette), as his abusive biological mother has mental problems and a personal mission to find and reclaim her son. Donna and Pete are currently living in rural Wisconsin in an attempt to fashion normal lives for themselves, and elude Pete's real parents. As Gabriel delves deeper into this troubling story, he uncovers a grisly secret, and takes it upon himself to help Donna and Pete.