The Price of Paradise: How the Suicide Bomber Shaped the Modern Age

‘A must-read book on the most frightening phenomenon of the modern age … Fascinating’
Christina Lamb in The Sunday Times

‘Provocative and timely…. highly readable’
Peter Beaumont in The Observer

‘Outstanding… the author takes confident control over this huge, dense and dark subject… Engrossing’
Anthony Loyd in the New Statesman

‘In an exceptional piece of work, Iain Overton subjects the suicide bomber to his seasoned investigative skills from pre-revolutionary Russia to the present day.’ 
Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow

‘An informative book on a timely topic that demands critical scrutiny.’
Fawaz Gerges in The Evening Standard

‘Moving… Overton has gone further than most to understand the motivations of the modern-day suicide bomber.’
Robert Verkaik in i


We live in the age of the suicide bomber. From attacks in the streets of Paris and London to murders in marketplaces in Kabul and Baghdad, the suicide bomber is the real weapon of mass destruction, killing and injuring over a quarter of a million people since its first use – many of them in the last decade.

But what leads men and women to blow themselves up, believing they will usher in a Utopia they’ll never inhabit? How did so many modern jihadists come to adopt its use? And what part did suicide bombings play in the rise of communism, the dawn of the nuclear age, and the creation of a seemingly endless, global war on terror?

In The Price of Paradise, such questions lead award-winning investigative journalist Iain Overton on a worldwide search. From the austere streets of St Petersburg to Shinto temples of Japan, the killing fields of Sri Lanka to Hamas-enclaves in Palestine, Overton seeks out the origins of the modern day suicide bomber. Along the way, he speaks to survivors, medics, veterans and intelligence agents, and comes face to face with ISIS jihadists and suicide bombers whose missions have failed.

What he discovers in this disturbing and timely book is not only what drives zealots to blow themselves up, but how their actions have shaped our modern world in ways we never imagined.

The Price of Paradise was published by Quercus and can be purchased on Amazon here.