The plot is set spinning within the first few minutes, Letts taking little time setting the scene. That scene is a trailer in a Texas park inhabited by the revolting Smith family. Young Chris Smith needs to get hold of $6000 or his creditors will kill him. With his father Ansel he decides to murder his mother for what, he has been told, is a sizeable life insurance policy. They agree to hire Joe Cooper, a police detective with a sideline in contract killing.
This is a truly wonderful play, inhabiting Tennessee Williams territory both geographically and emotionally.