An autopsy is a surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse by dissection to determine the cause, mode, and manner of death or to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present for research or educational purposes. In forensic crime thrillers, autopsies typically produce the evidence that convicts a killer who might have otherwise gotten away with murder. Forensic thrillers may be full of gory and gruesom chill - but dedicated readers just can't resist the intriguing blend of medical science and fiction.
Authors of forensic thrillers, such as Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, Jefferson Bass or Tess Gerritsen, are usually former pathologists or have first-hand experience with autopsies. They will certainly satisfy any reader's morbid curiosity. More on Wikipedia