As a former archaeologist and casual caver, I really enjoyed this audio book from Audible. If you enjoyed books like the DaVinci Code or National Treasure, you probably will enjoy this one.
The story has to do with mysterious walls of some smooth, metallic (ish) black substance found in several caves around the world. The story bounces between Galileo and the Inquisition, a mysterious magazine called Voyage with a hidden agenda, and a group of paleontologists in Montana. And yes, the Vatican is mixed up in it, or at least a hidden group perhaps aligned with the Vatican.
One of our main characters is a charismatic young professor of Paleontology. He is hoping for tenure, but facing the “publish or perish.” An attractive lady paleontologist is dispatched from London to review his work in the field. You probably know where this is leading… Tension leads to passion.
A mismatched group of paleontology students from various top universities are gathered to excavate dinosaur bones, but they find a cave above the site. As a lark, they start to explore it.
In London, the stuffy editor of a magazine called Voyage is dying. He is training a replacement. The replacement is itching for power and wishes the old man would just die already. No more dry lectures about carrying on tradition and perpetuating some kind of Order.
We flash back to Galileo investigating a similar cave to the Montana cave as he experiments with calibrating units of heat.
People are getting too close to a truth that could upend all that we know about Science and Religion. The order must stop them! You will be off on a whirlwind ride that you won’t want to put down.