A novel by Harry Adam Knight (a penname of Australian sf author John Brosnan, used for his schlockiest work), written in the 80's, some time prior to Jurassic Park. The novel's story is vastly different from the In Name Only Roger Corman film. In it, David Pascal in Cambridgeshire, England is trying to discover the causes of a recent rash of deaths. The local bigshot, Sir Darren Penward, who collects rare and exotic predators, insists it was a Siberian tiger that escaped from his private zoo. However the lone survivor of one of the attacks, a small boy, claims it was a dinosaur.Pascal investigates further (mostly through wooing and ultimately sleeping with Penward's wife, Jane) and discovers Penward's scientists have cloned predatory dinosaurs for him to add to his collection. Inevitably the dinosaurs escape and wreak carnage throughout Cambridgeshire as the local police attempt to battle them.
Tropes used in this novel:
Action Survivor: David and his girlfriend Jenny are really put through the ringer.
Especially Egregious considering the simple fact that neither of those characters are in the novel, although a reader who never saw the movie would just assume its what the two unrelated main characters of the novel look like.
Death by Irony: Besides the dinosaurs, Sir Penward's estate houses all manner of nature's extant carnivores, many of which get loose when the dinosaurs go on the rampage. The animal that's ultimately responsible for doing Penward in? One of the steers he kept for feeding purposes gores him in the thigh, and it's lampshaded several times throughout the novel.
Death by Sex: In one of the few sequences that actually gets depicted in the film, a couple of teens are mauled to death by a Deinonychus while getting it on in their car.
Diabolus ex Machina: The Deinonychus that Pascal forgets about homes right in on Jenny's home and slaughters her family and gravely wounds her. What are the chances it would pick her house?
Genius Bonus: The novel discusses atavistic fear a few times. The conceit being that because primitive mammals learned to stay away from giant reptiles, the smells and sounds they make reawaken survival instincts in humans. Similar theories are put forth in Real Life about why nails on a chalk board or sirens causes unease (IE that they sound like the calls of predators that hunted or ancestors while they were still small.)
Gorn: People are killed and devoured in rather gruesome ways.
It Can Think: Several characters remark on the Deinonychus having a cruel intelligence about it.
Karmic Death: Lady Jane, who was responsible for letting all of the dinosaurs loose , is devoured by a pair of newly-hatched Tyrannosaurus rex infants at the end of the novel.
Older Than They Think: This book had some key elements that Jurassic Park would later bring to the public conciousness several years before it came out. Namely, dinosaurs are portrayed as bird-like, quick, and intelligent instead of lumbering cold blooded brutes.
Prehistoric Monster: Despite being fairly progressive in dinosaur depictions, it is still very much guilty of this. All but one of the dinosaurs mercilessly hunt down humans and devour them long after their appetites should be sated. This is especially weird for creatures like Dilophosaurus and the plesiosaur, which would not be very well equipped to eat large, fast moving prey like human beings.
Primal Fear: In addition to the obvious (the fear of large carnivores), this is discussed in the novel. Just the smell of the dinosaurs is enough to terrify people.
Science Marches On: While reasonably accurate for its day, Carnosaur is still over 30 years old, so....
Deinonychus is portrayed as featherless, using its claws like scythes. We now know that Deinonychosaurs had feathers and used their toe claws as hooks.
It is now known that plesiosaurs do not hatch from eggs and cannot lift their necks above water.
It used to be thought that some theropods could be at least partially quadrupedal, and the Atispinax (now named Becklespinax) is portrayed as such in the novel. This is now seen as anatomically impossible.
Back when the novel was written, several of the featured dinosaurs (namely Tyrannosaurus, Tarbosaurus, Megalosaurus, and Altispinax) would have been considered Carnosaurs, as it was thought at the time that all large theropods were fairly closely related. Carnosauria has recently been redefined as Allosaurus and its close relatives, leaving Altispinax as the only actual Carnosaur in the book.
Shown Their Work: The author almost certainly did a lot of research for this and it shows. They even pointed out that plesiosaurus isn't a dinosaur!
Sequel Hook: two Tyrannosaurs hatch and no one knows where they are at. Considering it's been about 30 years, and the author died, it's unlikely to be followed up on.
Stock Dinosaurs: Subverted. Knight uses a Tarbosaurus instead of a T-rex as the novel's main threat. An Altispinax (now known as Becklespinax and just as obscure by that name) briefly turns up as well.
Nevertheless, some stock dinosaurs are featured. To wit:
A brachiosaurus is briefly featured
A deinonychus is the most featured dinosaur of all, and it's arguably great stock in all but name. Interestingly, this was before raptors were made stock dinosaurs
A dilophosaurus is featured. This is also before it was made stock, and as such, isn't depicted as frilled or poisonous.
A megalosaurus makes a few appearances
a plesiosaur (unknown exactly which kind) is a big threat as well.
Lastly, two baby Tyrannosauri are hatched.
So, to sum it up, 2 great stock, 3 secondary stock, 1 rarely seen stock, and the rest are non-stock.
Penward himself Would Hurt a Child however, and plans to have the boy murdered. Fortunately he's distracted by more pressing matters before he can do so, as the dinos get loose, rendering the issue of the boy moot, and Penward forgets about him.