Character Review, Josie James, Greg Shapiro, Jazminder Parikh, MD, Johnny Barnes, Dalton Farouk, Peri Martin, Carmen D’Angelo, MD, Dr. Devon Grace, Tommy 2000, Lex Feldman, Velexio, Character Reviews are Coming, Ixalla, Elise Jeffries, MD, Frances Miller Ashford, Marnie Shapiro, Ceilidh O’Malley, Dr. Mei-Lin Quan, Trixie LaRue, Tathrelle, Nell Murphy, Craig Firenze, Adger, Astrid Hennigsen, Benjamin Chase, Bobby/Jerry Brodie, Cyndi Mendez, Dez Hunter, Eileen Bragin, Eleanor Braverman, Judge John Lowell, Keisha Darnell, Minka Lopez, Nell Murphy, Noah Braverman, Olga Nicolaev, Peter Ray, Rachel Gifford, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sally Bowles/TSTO Tiles, Shannon Duffy, Student #17, Tad Lewis, Ginny Carey, TSTITO, Selkhet 3000, complex evil characters, Emma 1000,

Character Review — Greg Shapiro

Consider Greg Shapiro, One of My Original Characters

Who is Greg Shapiro?

I needed to have someone perform research for The Obolonk Murders. Once I started to create him, Greg turned into, essentially, Peri’s work BFF.

Where Did Greg Shapiro Come From?

The concept of a “work husband” is nothing new, although the terminology may be. Greg is quite easily, Peri Martin‘s work pal, her lunch buddy, and all that. And until Tommy comes around, he is one of the only people who she will ever confide in.

The Past is Prologue — Backstory for Greg Shapiro

Kinda short and losing his hair, Greg is just a regular guy from what used to be called Hamden, Connecticut. He’s unassuming and self-deprecating to a fault.


I am a bit conflicted about his look. He could be a bit taller and darker, like the late Bruno Kirby. Or a bit fairer, like Jason Isaacs. I prefer to “cast” Jewish characters with Jewish actors whenever I can. But I do have to admit that it was Kirby I was originally thinking of when I started writing the character.


Unlike cops you would normally see in a film or on TV, Greg isn’t much for guns and chases. Rather, he’s a researcher. For all the clichés about someone not wanting to be a pencil pusher, that would likely be his dream job.

Quotes (Greg and Peri are discussing Selkhet 3000 and Dr. Tinerrian)

“Martin, haven’t you ever liked anyone who didn’t like you back?” She nodded, so he added, “Or get this: haven’t you ever loved someone who did not love you back?”

Peri was silent as she tried to figure out how to answer him. Her eyes were filling up, fast, and then they were brimming and threatening to spill over, a situation as precarious as the stacks of books on the library’s sole table. Her lower jaw trembled a bit, too. She swallowed a few times, in an effort to keep her response an even one. But her voice cracked. “I, well, yeah.”

“Oh, damn, I’m sorry. I put my big foot in it this time, eh? It was Hollis, right?”

“Yeah,” she managed to squeak out.

“Well, he was a total mook and a jerk and all of that, anything you want to call him, for being that way. You are rough around the edges and no one’s ever going to invite you to a ball at the Junior League on Dione. But my considered opinion, Detective Sergeant Peri Martin, is that you did not deserve to be treated that way. You did not deserve to be made to feel like this. I am not saying that you shouldn’t feel bad about Hollis being hit by a hot gun. The illegal ones are particularly nasty—you know this. And I understand that losing a partner is just a terrible thing for any cop to have to go through. And please don’t think I’m hitting on you when I say this.”

She smiled wryly, a lone, low chuckle escaping from her mouth. “I’m not a redhead.”


Greg’s already been married a few times. He even admits to having hit on Peri when he was newly single.  But they are more pals than anything else. If anyone, he’s got an interest in Akanksha Kondapalli. But Akanksha is probably a bit young for him.

I don’t have an actual birth date for him, but Peri is 50 when the series starts. Greg is probably a year or two older or younger than she is.

Their friendship is truly Greg’s biggest relationship in the series. They joke and laugh and make fun of each other pretty much constantly.

Conflict and Turning Point

Greg has a few turning points within the overall story arc. He experiences a part of the first crisis in the first book, but it’s from a distance. And aside from presumably hearing about it, he doesn’t experience the second crisis at all.

Probably the time when he really gets to shine is at the end when he and Peri bring in a confederate—someone who they did not initially suspect was a perpetrator.

Continuity/Easter Eggs

Like every other Shapiro character I have ever written (Marnie, Eleanor, etc.), Greg joins a proud Easter Egg/Afikomen tradition in my writing.

Future Plans

He’s definitely going to show up in the Obolonk prequel! But after that, I confess I am not so sure.

Greg Shapiro: Takeaways

Once I got him going in The Polymer Beat, he was a joy to write. He and Peri come across, at times, like Tracy and Hepburn or, more likely, like Nichols and May. I really should find something else for that mook to do!

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