We spent 27 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Forensic medicine is not for the faint of heart — professionals in the field are responsible for performing accurate autopsies and investigating suspicious, and sometimes gruesome, deaths. If you’re looking to work in this area or are fascinated by postmortems, you’ll gain a solid grounding from one of the textbooks on our list, all of which offer in-depth information and instructive visuals. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

10. Fundamentals and Perspectives

By applying logic gleaned from modern advancements in the subject, Fundamentals and Perspectives tackles delicate topics, like child abuse and medical malpractice, in addition to the cornerstones, such as establishing identity, DNA analysis, and blunt force trauma.

  • Touches on osteology and radiology
  • Highlighted case studies
  • Writing style is rather mechanical

Brand Fundamentals and Perspe
Model pending
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Death Investigation: An Introduction

Ideal for the layperson, Death Investigation: An Introduction is intended for the non-scientist, with a focus on students and law enforcement officials in particular. It stresses the importance of preserving evidence, and shines a light on proper procedures and systems.

  • Helpful checklists and key terms
  • Chapter summaries and objectives
  • Graphics are in black and white

Brand Death Investigation: An
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Estimation of the Time Since Death

Estimation of the Time Since Death expounds on the specific, fascinating science behind an integral postmortem task. This multi-authored effort addresses everything from rigor mortis and putrefactive changes to the applications of radiocarbon dating and digestion.

  • Discusses common mistakes
  • Handy graphs and tables
  • Gets pretty dense at times

Brand Estimation of the Time
Model pending
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Simpson’s Forensic Medicine

Written in concise and accessible language, Simpson’s Forensic Medicine is an exemplary introduction to the field. This informative guide boasts an easy-to-follow layout, high-quality photographs, emphatic text boxes, and excellent suggestions for further reading.

  • Thorough coverage of toxicology
  • Examines ethical responsibilities
  • Not a comprehensive option

Brand Simpson’s Forensic Medi
Model pending
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Knight’s Forensic Pathology

The 4th edition of Knight’s Forensic Pathology is not only chock-full of detailed cases, conditions, and uncommon issues, it’s also designed to be of value to those performing medicolegal autopsies across the world, whether they’ve received professional training or not.

  • Rife with practical advice
  • Supplementary online resources
  • A bit lean on references

Brand Pekka Saukko
Model pending
Weight 12.6 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. A Physician’s Guide

Not just for medical students, A Physician’s Guide works to broaden the understanding of police officers, nurses, paramedics, and other health professionals. It offers a brief, illuminating history of the discipline before diving into a host of informative topics.

  • Opens with a clarifying introduction
  • Extensive and useful index
  • Somewhat scant on photographs

Brand Springer
Model pending
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Forensic Pathology, Practical Aspects

The aptly titled Forensic Pathology, Practical Aspects touches on the basics a medical examiner requires to identify the deceased, determine time and cause of injury, and much more. Its broad coverage includes procedures for homicide, suicide, and death by accident.

  • Evaluates signs of gross negligence
  • Also considers exotic cases
  • Doesn’t cover firearm wounds

Brand CRC Press
Model pending
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Color Atlas of Forensic Medicine and Pathology

Using detailed visual demonstrations accompanied by in-depth explanatory text, thColor Atlas of Forensic Medicine and Pathology introduces pupils to the patterns produced by many different causes of death. It covers concepts that range from basic to the more advanced.

  • Over 1600 full-color images
  • Ideal for visual learners
  • Includes a chapter on histopathology

Brand Color Atlas of Forensic
Model pending
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Gunshot Wounds

Written by veteran pathologist Dr. Vincent J.M. DiMaio, Gunshot Wounds examines the complexities of deaths resulting from firearm injury. Using approachable language and illuminating quotes, it walks readers through autopsy techniques and the finer points of ballistics.

  • Superb for those in law enforcement
  • Describes weapon types in detail
  • A well-paced and digestible read

Brand imusti
Model pending
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Spitz and Fisher’s Medicolegal Investigation of Death

The comprehensive Spitz and Fisher’s Medicolegal Investigation of Death is considered by many in the field to be the gold standard in forensic pathology literature. This authoritative text can serve as an excellent reference for criminal investigators and lawyers as well.

  • Written by distinguished experts
  • Avoids technical jargon
  • Plenty of explanatory diagrams

Brand Spitz and Fisher’s Medi
Model pending
Weight 8.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0