Jessica "Jess" Golden is a character in the novel Final Destination: Dead Reckoning. She is the lead singer of a band called The Vipers and is a survivor of the Club Kitty accident. Jessica is great friends with her drummer Jamie as well as her guitar players Cassie and Tony. It was also implied that Jess and Jamie both had a crush on each other after a confidential incident took place a few years ago (most likely the two having sex). Jess, serving as the female lead protagonist in the story, sees a horrible vision of the club collapsing while performing on stage, which inevitably leads to her death once she's supposedly crushed by a blunt fallen girder. However, this was all only a dream and she is still on stage performing. Jess freezes in the middle of her song and later begins to freak out, attempting to direct the crowd outside before the collapse happens. Despite Tony dragging her behind the set to try and calm her down, she still can't shake the feeling out her head and the manager is forced to have the bouncer escort her out. On her way out, another group of civilians (Ben, Eric Prescott, Jamie, Macy, Charlie Delgado, Amber and Officer Marina Hewlett) decide to leave due to the stir. Minutes later, the club collapses as she predicted, killing several people inside, including Tony and Cassie.

Later that night (after she's the prime suspect for the collapse) she escapes from police custody, along with Eric, after Jamie distracts the police from her. Both of them get inside a taxi cab driven by a man named Steve and evade a few police cruisers, only to hear a loud explosion up ahead. When Steve, Eric, and Jess check out the body, they find out that the man riding the bike was Sebastian, the bouncer of the club and the first survivor who died in Jess' vision. Later that night, after running into a homeless man who says a girl will die, and a boy next, Jess spends the night at a junkyard before she's arrested again along with Eric for trespassing (although they're later bailed out by Charlie). Inside Charlie's bathtub, Jess has a terrible dream showing her mother crying and wearing a dark black dress, as well as a clue foreshadowing Charlie's death. Jess looks outside the window and screams out Charlie's name before he's killed by a dislodged shelf. She also tries to scream out Amber's name when Charlie's car comes rolling down a hill (Charlie had accidentally engaged the handbrake). She slips on a trail of oil and dies when the car runs over her.

After calming down a distraught Charlie and running into an envious Jamie (he thought they had sex when she spent the night) Jess thinks Eric's in danger and rushes over to his campus to go find him inside Charlie's car. While she rushes inside, Jamie lures Charlie into the campus after he stole his cellphone. When the gang find a drunken Ben inside, demanding to know what happened to Eric, Charlie goes over and opens the elevator door, unaware that Eric recklessly ripped out several wires and broke it. Charlie stumbles into the shaft and suffers a minor injury, but seconds later, the emergency brakes on the elevator are severed and come crashing down, killing Charlie instantly. Upset over his death, Jess goes back to her apartment and receives a visit from Macy, who tells her she's scared of what's going on after four of the survivors die (Macy reveals to Jess that the police officer who caused the accident, Marina, was bit on the leg by a Black Widow). Macy then abruptly leaves her apartment when she's nearly killed three times and Jess takes a nap. During her slumber, she enters Death's realm and meets all of the victims claimed by the accident, including Charlie, Tony, the bartender, Heather, Amber, Marina, and Sebastian. She also runs into an abomination composed of several corpses and bones, possibly Death itself. After jumping off a cliff with the monster chasing after her, Jess wakes up and realizes the survivors are in danger.

Jess meets up with the remaining survivors in a diner at night and explains them the situation at hand, informing Macy that she's the next victim to die. Macy suffers another close call when she's nearly crushed by a sign and the survivors leave the diner. Although Jamie offers to give her a ride home, she denies his request, wanting nothing to do with him after he snuck out of her house when they were sleeping together. Macy suffers yet another close call when she's almost impaled by a metal surfboard and agrees for Eric to take her home. As they are about to leave, the homeless man shows up again and steals Eric's hubcap, which leads to all of them running into the alleyway. Ben, thinking they may be in danger, brings a gun with him and follows them. The survivors are attacked by wandering vagrants and all of them start fighting them off, and Jess sees several visions foreshadowing that her mother died in the collapse. When the thugs run away, Jess agrees to take Macy home, just in time for a metal pane to fall down and slice her in half at the shoulder (Ben fired a bullet at a scaffolding which came loose and caused the pane to come down).

Even though the survivors hear the cops' sirens in the distance, Eric seizes the opportunity to pin the murder on everyone, including Jess and agrees to take them to the morgue instead. Before leaving, a sign falls down and almost crushes Ben but he hops back at the last second, only to fall into the sewers seconds later and die. As they are at the morgue, they begin to check all of the bodies to see if Jess' mother is there. The cops show up and begin to chase after the remaining three survivors, taking a shot off at Eric. Jamie shoves him aside and is shot in the chest, intervening with his life and ultimately sacrificing his own. While fighting the cops, Eric is stunned with a tazer and Jess begins to crawl over to Jamie's body, anticipating the worst. Another officer fires his stun gun at her, just when she crawls over a puddle, which shocks her to death and stops her heart. Miraculously, she and Jamie are brought back to life.

A month later, the survivors meet up at Santa Monica pier to perform during a late night beach party. Eric splits away from the group and starts talking to a cold pedestrian before he sits on top of the railing. The neon necklace around his head falls down over his eyes and he struggles to get it off, falling into the water below. Eric panics after remembering what Jess said about signs and thinks the water is full of sharks. He desperately doggy-paddles to the beach, but fails, and has his skull crushed when a surfer slams into him with his metal surfboard. Because Jamie died intervening for Eric's life, it didn't save Eric and he was simply moved to the back of the list, making him the last victim instead of the seventh.

A few months after Eric's death Patricia Fuller, a survivor of the South Hill Metroline bombing, attempted to track Jamie and Jess down, only to find the two of them (as well as survivors from a variety of other disasters) have seemingly disappeared off the face of the Earth, leaving Patti with implication they are either in hiding or dead.

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